The Millions: The Best Fiction of the Millennium by The Millions

A poll of The Millions contributors and 48 of their favorite writers, editors, and critics, asking a single question: “What are the best books of fiction of the millennium(2000), so far?” The results were robust, diverse, and surprising.

  1. 1. The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen

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    The Corrections is a 2001 novel by American author Jonathan Franzen. It revolves around the troubles of an elderly Midwestern couple and their three adult children, tracing their lives from the mid...


  2. 2. The Known World by Edward P. Jones

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    The Known World is a 2003 historical novel by Edward P. Jones. It was his first novel and second book. Set in antebellum Virginia, it examines issues regarding the ownership of black slaves by free...


  3. 3. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

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    Cloud Atlas (published in the United States as Cloud Atlas: A Novel) is a 2004 novel, the third book by British author David Mitchell. It won the British Book Awards Literary Fiction Award and the ...


  4. 4. 2666 by Roberto Bolano

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    2666 (2004) is the last novel written by Chilean-born novelist Roberto Bolaño. Depicting the unsolved and ongoing serial murders of Ciudad Juárez (Santa Teresa in the novel), the Eastern Front in W...


  5. 5. Pastoralia by George Saunders

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    If Americans in the future were to try to send us a message about where our culture is heading, they might simply point to the fiction of George Saunders. Living in a world that's both indelibly or...


  6. 6. The Road by Cormac McCarthy

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    The Road is a 2006 novel by American writer Cormac McCarthy. It is a post-apocalyptic tale of a journey taken by a father and his young son over a period of several months, across a landscape blast...


  7. 7. Austerlitz by W. G. Sebald

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    Austerlitz, the internationally acclaimed masterpiece by "one of the most gripping writers imaginable" (The New York Review of Books), is the story of a man?s search for the answer to his life?s ce...


  8. 8. Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson

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    Out Stealing Horses (Ut og stjæle hester) is a 2003 novel by Per Petterson. It was translated into English in 2005 by Anne Born, published in the UK that year, and in the US in 2007. Among other aw...


  9. 9. Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage by Alice Munro

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    As always, Alice Munro surprises us. While the nine stories in this new collection could not be written by anyone else, they are subtly different. The title story, for example, ranges from small-to...

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  10. 10. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

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    The novel describes the life of Kathy H., a young woman of 31, focusing at first on her childhood at an unusual boarding school and eventually her adult life. The story takes place in a dystopian B...


  11. 11. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

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    The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007) is a best-selling novel written by Dominican-American author Junot Díaz. Although a work of fiction, the novel is set in New Jersey where Díaz was raised...


  12. 12. Twilight of the Superheroes by Deborah Eisenberg

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    A collection of short works includes the tales of a group of friends whose efforts to acquire a luxurious Manhattan sublet are halted by the September 11 attacks, a teacher's Roman holiday in the w...

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  13. 13. Mortals by Norman Rush

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    It is at once a political adventure, a social comedy, and a passionate triangle. It is set in the 1990s in Botswana—the African country Rush has indelibly made his own fictional territory. Mortals ...

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  14. 14. Atonement by Ian McEwan

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    Atonement is a 2001 novel by British author Ian McEwan. It tells the story of protagonist Briony Tallis's crime and how it changes her life, as well as those of her sister Cecilia and her lover Rob...


  15. 15. Varieties of Disturbance: Stories by Lydia Davis

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    Presents a collection of short fiction, including "What you Learn about the Baby" in which a mother describes how an infant disrupts her life and "Jane and Cane" details an elderly woman's search f...

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  16. 16. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

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    Middlesex is a novel by Jeffrey Eugenides. It was published in 2002 and won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2003. The narrator and protagonist, Calliope Stephanides (later called "Cal"), an in...


  17. 17. The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem

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    The Fortress of Solitude is a 2003 semi-autobiographical novel by Jonathan Lethem set in Brooklyn and spanning the 1970s, '80s, and '90s. It follows two teenage friends, Dylan Ebdus and Mingus Rude...


  18. 18. Stranger Things Happen by Kelly Link

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    A debut collection of extraordinary stories from an award-winning author.

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  19. 19. American Genius: A Comedy by Lynne Tillman

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    Lynne Tillman’s previous novels have won her both popular approval and critical praise from such literary heavyweights as Edmund White and Colm Tóibín. With American Genius, her first novel since 1...

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  20. 20. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

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    Gilead is a novel written by Marilynne Robinson and published in 2004. It won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, as well as the National Book Critics Circle Award. The novel is the fictional auto...