Saturday, December 22, 2018

Ten books that defined the 1980s

At LitHub Emily Temple tagged the ten books that defined the 1980s, including:
Toni Morrison, Beloved (1987)

If you’re reading this space, I probably don’t have to expound on the importance of Toni Morrison to you. But just to cover all our bases, Beloved won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1988, and was a finalist for the 1987 National Book Award—though lost out to something called Paco’s Story, which rankled then and rankles now. In 2006, the editors of the New York Times asked “a couple hundred” writers, critics, and editors to vote on “the single best work of American fiction published in the last 25 years,” and the winner—by a relatively large margin—was Beloved. “Any other outcome would have been startling,” wrote A.O. Scott, “since Morrison’s novel has...[read on]
Read about another entry on the list.

Beloved also appears on Megan Abbott's list of six of the best books based on true crimes, Melba Pattillo Beals's 6 favorite books list, Sarah Porter's list of five favorite books featuring psychological hauntings, Matthew Fellion and Katherine Inglis' list of ten books that were subject to silencing or censorship, Jeff Somers's list of ten fictional characters based on real people, Christopher Barzak's top five list of books about magical families, Ayelet Gundar-Goshen's ten top list of wartime love stories, Judith Claire Mitchell's list of ten of the best (unconventional) ghosts in literature, Kelly Link's list of four books that changed her, a list of four books that changed Libby Gleeson, The Telegraph's list of the 15 most depressing books, Elif Shafak's top five list of fictional mothers, Charlie Jane Anders's list of ten great books you didn't know were science fiction or fantasy, Peter Dimock's top ten list of books that challenge what we think we know as "history", Stuart Evers's top ten list of homes in literature, David W. Blight's list of five outstanding novels on the Civil War era, John Mullan's list of ten of the best births in literature, Kit Whitfield's top ten list of genre-defying novels, and at the top of one list of contenders for the title of the single best work of American fiction published in the last twenty-five years.

--Marshal Zeringue