Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Top ten state of the nation novels

Justin Cartwright's novels include the Booker-shortlisted In Every Face I Meet, the Whitbread Novel Award-winner Leading the Cheers and the acclaimed White Lightning, shortlisted for the 2002 Whitbread Novel Award, The Promise of Happiness, winner of the 2005 Hawthorden Prize and the acclaimed The Song Before It Is Sung. Cartwright was born in South Africa and lives in London. Other People’s Money, his latest novel, is both a subtle thriller and an acutely delineated portrait of a world and a class.

For the Guardian, he named his top ten novels about societies under stress. "When nations are undergoing some form of stress, be it financial or ethical or even military, state of the nation novels tend to be more numerous," he writes; "they come in many guises, but they have one thing in particular, that they provide a commentary or a judgment on the times."

One title on his list:
Money by Martin Amis

There is no question that Amis wrote one of the most influential novels of the late 20th century with Money. He was quickly on to the understanding of a new sort of society, obsessed with money, celebrity and self-gratification.
Read about one of the American novels on the list.

Money is one of Chris Power's top six books on the 1980s.

--Marshal Zeringue