What Is the Best Work of American Fiction of the Last 25 Years? by New York Times

The New York Times Book Review's editor, Sam Tanenhaus, sent out a short letter to a couple of hundred prominent writers, critics, editors and other literary sages, asking them to please identify...

  1. 1. Beloved by Toni Morrison

    Image of Beloved

    Beloved (1987) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Nobel laureate Toni Morrison. The novel, her fifth, is loosely based on the life and legal case of the slave Margaret Garner, about whom Morrison...


  2. 2. Underworld by Don DeLillo

    Image of Underworld

    Underworld is a postmodern novel written in 1997 by Don DeLillo. It was nominated for the National Book Award, is one of his better-known novels, and was a best-seller.


  3. 3. Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy

    Image of Blood Meridian

    Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West is a 1985 Western novel by American author Cormac McCarthy. It was McCarthy's fifth book, and was published by Random House. The narrative foll...


  4. 4. Rabbit, Run by John Updike

    Image of Rabbit, Run

    Rabbit, Run depicts five months in the life of a 26-year-old former high school basketball player named Harry 'Rabbit' Angstrom, and his attempts to escape the constraints of his life.


  5. 4. Rabbit Redux by John Updike

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    Rabbit Redux finds the former high-school basketball star, Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom, working a dead-end job and approaching middle age in the downtrodden and fictional city of Brewer, Pennsylvania, ...


  6. 4. Rabbit Is Rich by John Updike

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    Rabbit Is Rich is a 1981 novel by John Updike. It is the third novel of the four-part series which begins with Rabbit, Run and Rabbit Redux, and concludes with Rabbit At Rest. There is also a relat...


  7. 4. Rabbit at Rest by John Updike

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    In John Updike's fourth and final novel about ex-basketball player Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom, the hero has acquired heart trouble, a Florida condo, and a second grandchild. His son, Nelson, is behavi...


  8. 5. American Pastoral by Philip Roth

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    American Pastoral is a Philip Roth novel concerning Seymour "Swede" Levov, a Jewish-American businessman and former high school athlete from Newark, New Jersey. Levov's happy and conventional upper...


  9. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

    Image of A Confederacy of Dunces

    A Confederacy of Dunces is a picaresque novel written by John Kennedy Toole, published in 1980, 11 years after the author's suicide. The book was published through the efforts of writer Walker Perc...


  10. Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson

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    Ruth narrates the story of how she and her younger sister Lucille are raised by a succession of relatives in the fictional town of Fingerbone, Idaho (some details are similar to Robinson's hometown...


  11. Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin

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    Winter's Tale is a 1983 novel by author Mark Helprin. It takes place in a mythical New York City near the turn of the 20th century, markedly different from the world we live in.


  12. White Noise by Don DeLillo

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    Set at a bucolic midwestern college known only as The-College-on-the-Hill, White Noise follows a year in the life of Jack Gladney, a professor who has made his name by pioneering the field of Hitle...


  13. The Counterlife by Philip Roth

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    The Counterlife (1986) is a novel by the American author Philip Roth. It is the fourth full novel to feature the fictional novelist Nathan Zuckerman. However, when The Counterlife was published, Zu...


  14. Where I'm Calling From by Raymond Carver

    Image of Where I'm Calling From

    Where I'm Calling From is a short story and the title of a collection of thirty-seven short stories by American author Raymond Carver. This story, as well as many of his others, focuses on the effe...


  15. Libra by Don DeLillo

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    Libra (1988) is a novel written by Don DeLillo. It focuses on the life of Lee Harvey Oswald and offers a speculative account of the events that shaped the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.


  16. Mating by Norman Rush

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    Mating is a novel by American author Norman Rush. It is a first-person narrative of an unnamed American anthropology graduate student in Botswana around 1980. It focuses on her relationship with Ne...


  17. The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien

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    The Things They Carried is a collection of related stories by Tim O'Brien, about a platoon of American soldiers in the Vietnam War, originally published in hardcover by Houghton Mifflin, 1990. Whil...


  18. All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy

    Image of All the Pretty Horses

    All the Pretty Horses is a novel by U.S. author Cormac McCarthy published in 1992. Its romanticism (in contrast to the bleakness of McCarthy's earlier work) brought the writer much public attention...


  19. Operation Shylock by Philip Roth

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    Operation Shylock: A Confession is novelist Philip Roth's 19th book and was published in 1993. The novel follows narrator "Philip Roth" on a journey to Israel where he attends the trial of accused ...


  20. The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy

    Image of The Crossing

    The Crossing (ISBN 0-394-57475-3) is a novel by prize-winning American author Cormac McCarthy, published in 1994 by Alfred A. Knopf. The story is the second installment of McCarthy's "Border Trilogy".


  21. Sabbath's Theater by Philip Roth

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    Mickey Sabbath is an unproductive, out-of-work, former puppeteer with a strong affinity for whores, adultery, and the casual sexual encounter. Sabbath takes great pleasure in his status as the (pro...


  22. Independence Day by Richard Ford

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    Independence Day follows Frank Bascombe, a New Jersey real estate agent, through the titular holiday weekend as he visits his ex-wife, his troubled son, his current lover, the renters of one of his...


  23. Cities of the Plain by Cormac McCarthy

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    Cities of the Plain is the final volume of American novelist Cormac McCarthy's "The Border Trilogy." A film adaptation to be directed by Andrew Dominik has been announced for release in 2012. The t...


  24. Jesus' Son by Denis Johnson

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    Collection of short stories from Denis Johnson


  25. The Human Stain by Philip Roth

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    The Human Stain is set in 1990s America, the time of the culture wars, political correctness and the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky scandal. The story is told by Nathan Zuckerman, a writer who lives ...


  26. The Plot Against America by Philip Roth

    Image of The Plot Against America

    The Plot Against America is a novel by Philip Roth published in 2004. It is an alternate history in which Franklin Delano Roosevelt is defeated in the presidential election of 1940 by Charles Lindb...