Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Seven top contemporary novels about the Victorian era

Paraic O'Donnell is a writer of fiction, poetry, and criticism. His most recent novel, The House on Vesper Sands, was a Guardian and Observer book of the year for 2018. It is out now in the US from Tin House.

At Electric Lit, he tagged seven top 21st-century novels with 19th-century settings, including:
Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood

In Atwood’s best-known fictions, for all their undisputed merits, character is often subservient to some overarching schema of ideas. Based on real events—involving an Irish maid implicated in a brutal double murder—Alias Grace provides a counterpoint in a character study as enthralling as it is forensic. It also demonstrates the necessity of revisiting grim historical realities, like the coercive medicalization of femininity, that have never quite gone away.
Read about another entry on the list.

Alias Grace is among L.S. Hilton's top ten female-fronted thrillers, Rebecca Jane Stokes's top seven books for fans of Orange Is The New Black and Tracy Chevalier's six best books.

--Marshal Zeringue