December 11, 2013
2013 was yet another banner year for fiction. These are the 11 novels I have most recommended to friends, family, and anyone else who has crossed my path this year.
All links go to the authors' contributions to the Book Notes series, where applicable. I have reposted my original review below each book.
What was your favorite novel of 2013?
Lara Santoro's novel The Boy is a hard-hitting and compelling story of conflicted motherhood.
Few writers earn multiple comparisons to Leo Tolstoy and Jonathan Safran Foer, but Anthony Marra has with his remarkable novel, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena. Marra deftly explores lives touched by the Chechnyan conflict in one of the year's most impressive debuts.
Sinan Antoon's second novel The Corpse Washer is as strong an exploration of the effect of war on individuals, families, and communities as I have ever read, yet is a book that glimmers with compassion and hope.
Kathryn Davis's inventive Duplex dazzles with its language and fantastic premise, this is one of the year's most memorable and finely wrought novels.
One of the most highly acclaimed books of the year deserves every bit of praise.
Nicola Griffith's Hild is a smart and sweeping historical novel, one that imaginatively tells the story of Saint Hilda of seventh century Britain.
Jeff Jackson's Mira Corpora is a masterfully written debut, an often brutal coming of age tale as unsettling as it is brilliant.
Ru Freeman's On Sal Mal Lane vividly covers the years leading up to the civil war in Sri Lanka through the inhabitants of one diverse neighborhood, and deftly blends beauty with sorrow to produce an unforgettable book.
Will Self's ninth novel Umbrella is brilliant, complex, and daringly told, a stream-of-consciousness masterpiece.
Kristopher Jansma's The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards is a magnificent debut novel, an innovatively told exploration of identity, truth, and the writer's life the Village Voice described as "F. Scott Fitzgerald meets Wes Anderson."
Fiona Maazel's Woke Up Lonely is a vibrant, engaging, and endlessly inventive exploration of loneliness, and is easily one of the year's finest novels.
also at Largehearted Boy:
Largehearted Boy favorite novels of 2012
Largehearted Boy favorite novels of 2011
Largehearted Boy favorite novels of 2010
Largehearted Boy favorite novels of 2009
Largehearted Boy favorite novels of 2008
Largehearted Boy favorite novels of 2007
previous lists at Largehearted Boy
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