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Writing literary fiction that changes the way we think about the world is quite a feat! The stars haven’t been nice to us in recent years, but they have blessed us with incredible literary fiction that forever changed the book industry for the better. In difficult times like this, the authors who wrote down their thoughts to put things in 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. To dig!
Sorrow and happiness By Meg Mason
Isolation of a loved one can be difficult, as the pandemic proves. But what happens when you’re with everyone you love, but can’t stop feeling lonely? Martha’s story shows how mental illness can be a lonely journey. She is in the midst of people who love her in their respective faults, but she does not feel loved. Hers is a coming-of-age story – the only twist is that she has to wait until she is 40 to regain control of her life. Evocative and hopeful, this book changes our perception of ruptures and interpersonal relationships.
a burning By Megha Majumdar
Jivan, a young Muslim, is wrongly accused of being an insurgent. Coming from a disadvantaged family, she has little or no resources or influence to influence the court in her favor, despite her innocence. As she sits in prison, we see her teacher and her friend become famous. Helping Jivan is going to cost them everything they hold dear. Brilliant commentary on the political landscape of India, this novel sheds new light on the hierarchy of classes, ideas of morality and justice, corruption and the twist of fate.
Detransition, Baby By Torrey Peters
Reese must fight too hard to string together a life of bourgeois comfort, something her previous generations of trans women could never have imagined achieving. She has a fulfilling relationship with his girlfriend, Amy, until one day Amy decides to detransmit herself and becomes Ames. Ames moves on with Katrina, a divorced cis woman, who also happens to be his boss. Katrina gets pregnant, and suddenly, through what may seem like an odd proposition for a traditionalist, the three of them are forced to confront their true identities. The ending is exceptional because the book doesn’t leave you with a tightly wrapped binary solution, confirming how self-discovery is an ongoing process that never culminates in a finite conclusion.
Land of great numbers By Te-Ping Chen
This brilliant anthology of short stories ventriloquizes the stories of the people of modern China and its diaspora. Chen beautifully wrote their individual and collective histories and their messy pasts. Toggling between realism and fabulism, this collection is captivating and offers a compassionate account of the extraordinary lives of ordinary people. The reader understands the many misfortunes the characters go through and how they wage their own silent wars every day to get out of it.
Slim girls By Diana Clarke
The twins Rose and Lily have a complicated relationship with food. When Rose develops anorexia, Lily begins to consume more than her share of food. Lily is the yin of Rose’s yang. As Rose finishes a year in a rehabilitation center for anorexics, she has nothing to look forward to apart from Lily’s visits. As sisters, they know what the other is feeling, what thoughts are going through their heads. As Rose moves closer to self-annihilation each day, Lily goes out with violent men who traumatize her further. A harrowing tale of two sisters’ struggle with loss, trauma, body image issues, family dysfunction, and the darkness of the past blending into the present, the ending will leave you with a lot of hope!