Following up on the Best of the Year (so far) list for Non Fiction, here is a look at some of the best Fiction titles released so far in 2011.
Like the Non-Fiction list, there is no shortage of releases from prominent authors to look forward to (Guy Vanderhaeghe, Alice Hoffman, Michael Ondaatje, Marina Endicott)—but the first half of 2011 has seen some new books that have been both critically acclaimed, as well as commercially successful—and sometimes both. With a diverse collection of titles (some highbrow, some escapist), 2011 is shaping up to be a solid year for fiction. Here is a look at a few of the best so far:
Irma Voth by Miriam Toews. A colleague described this to me as right up there with A Complicated Kindness. Interested readers can find more about it from an earlier instalment of the Indigo Fiction Blog.
Alone in the Classroom, by Elizabeth Hay. A provocative novel of childhood and teaching, and practically a shoo-in for either the GG or Giller shortlists this year.
The Tiger's Wife, by Tea Obreht. Winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction (awarded yearly to great works of women’s writing throughout the world) this year, Tea is the award's youngest recipient ever. A war novel of sorts, or an ‘after-the war’ novel, that takes place in an unnamed Eastern European country after the fall of Communism.
The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt. A darkly comic western/road story—a deconstruction of the western that remains accessible and thoroughly enjoyable. An author interview can be found on the Indigo Fiction blog here.
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. An enjoyable read for anyone who enjoyed Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse series, the Harry Potter series, or Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. Witchcraft, history and romance—covered in an earlier edition of the Indigo Fiction Blog, here.
Robopocalypse by Daniel H Wilson. Another joyride, and the latest incarnation of the ‘technology taking over the world’ theme. Soon to be filmed by Spielberg—this could be his Terminator. The Indigo Fiction blog featured an excerpt here.
Visit From the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan—though published in 2010, Jennifer Egan did pick up the National Book Critics Circle as well as the Pulitzer for it in 2011, so worth highlighting here.
Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann. Also not a new book, this Heather's Pick was recipient of the 2011 Impac Dublin award, hence its mention. Telling the story of Phillipe Petit’s 1974 high wire trip between the Twin Towers, what it meant to New Yorkers then, and as an allegory of New York today
Did we miss any of your picks from this year? Let us know ...