Writing literary fiction that alters the way we think about the world is quite a feat! The stars haven’t been kind to us in the past few years, but they did bless us with incredible literary fiction that forever changed the book industry for the better. In tough times like this, authors who have penned their thoughts to put things into perspective for the rest of us have been a source of great comfort. If you want to do some serious reading to reflect on humanity and its many aspects, this list is for you. Dig in!
Sorrow And Bliss By Meg Mason
Isolation from a loved one can be hard, as proved by the pandemic. But what happens when you’re with everyone you love, yet can’t stop feeling alone? Martha’s story showcases how lonely a journey mental illness can be. She is amidst people who love her in their respective flawed ways, yet she doesn’t feel loved. Hers is a coming-of-age story — the only twist is she has to wait till the age of 40 to get some grip on her life. Evocative and hopeful, this book changes our perception of break-ups and interpersonal relationships.
A Burning By Megha Majumdar
Jivan, a Muslim girl, is wrongly accused of being an insurgent. Coming from an underprivileged family, she has little to no resources or influence to sway the court in her favor, despite being innocent. While she sits in jail, we witness her teacher and her friend rising to fame. Helping Jivan is going to cost them everything they hold dear. A brilliant commentary on the political landscape of India, this novel sheds new light on class hierarchy, ideas of morality and justice, corruption, and the twist of fate.
Detransition, Baby By Torrey Peters
Reese has to fight too hard to string together a life of bourgeois comforts, something her previous generations of trans women could never imagine achieving. She has a fulfilling relationship with her girlfriend, Amy, until the day Amy decides to detransition and becomes Ames. Ames moves on with Katrina, a cis divorced woman, who also happens to be his boss. Katrina gets pregnant, and suddenly, through what might seem like a bizarre proposal to a traditionalist, all three of them are forced to confront their true identities. The ending is outstanding as the book doesn’t leave you with a well wrapped up, binary solution, thus confirming how discovering oneself is an ongoing process that never culminates into a finite conclusion.
Land Of Big Numbers By Te-Ping Chen
This brilliant anthology of short stories ventriloquizes the stories of the people of modern China and its diaspora. Chen has beautifully penned their individual and collective history and messy past. Switching between realism and fabulism, this collection is gripping and offers a compassionate account of the extraordinary lives of ordinary people. The reader empathizes with the many woes the characters go through and how they wage their own silent wars every day to get through.
Thin Girls By Diana Clarke
Twins Rose and Lily have a complicated relationship with food. When Rose develops anorexia, Lily starts consuming more than her share of food. Lily is the yin to Rose’s yang. As Rose is completing a year in a rehabilitation center for anorexics, she has nothing to look forward to besides Lily’s visits. As sisters, they know what the other is feeling, what thoughts are running through their heads. While Rose moves closer to self-annihilation every day, Lily is dating abusive men who traumatize her further. A poignant story of two sisters’ fight with loss, trauma, body image issues, familial dysfunction, and darkness of the past that merges with the present, the ending will leave you with a lot of hope!