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Literary fiction

From beach reads to brainy books and everything in between.

Literary fiction overview

Literary fiction, as opposed to genre or popular fiction, focuses on style and depth, and is often character-driven.

Best of 2022

The Candy House by Jennifer Egan
Signal Fires by Dani Shapiro
Liberation Day by George Saunders
Checkout 19 by Claire-Louise Bennett
Trust by Hernan Diaz
The Trees by Percival Everett
Bliss Montage by Ling Ma
The Hero of this Book by Elizabeth McCracken
To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara
Lessons by Ian McEwan
Either/Or by Elif Batuman
All This Could be Different by Sarah Thankam Mathews
Glory by NoViolet Bulawayo
Young Mungo by Douglas Stuart
The Books of Jacob by Olga Tokarczuk

Staff picks

This Must be the Place by Maggie O'Farrell
The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles
Matrix by Lauren Groff
The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois by Honoree Jeffers
The Prophets by Robert Jones
Intimacies by Katie Kitamura
Second Place by Rachel Cusk
A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin
The Topeka School by Ben Lerner
Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart
No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy

Challenging reads

Ulysses by James Joyce
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
Mrs. Dalloway by Virgina Woolfe
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
Middlemarch by George Eliot

Award winners

Small Predators by Jennifer Ilse Black
The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo
Idaho by Emily Ruskovich
Trust Exercise by Susan Choi
Call Me Zebra by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi
Jonny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead
How to Pronounce Knife by Souvankham Thammavongsa
The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
Ridgerunner by Gil Adamson
The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich
Milkman by Anna Burns
Five Little Indians by Michelle Good
Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart

New to literary fiction? Try one of these books: