When the folks at Flavorwire took a look at a recent PWxyz poll to find the Great American Novel, they noticed something strange. Only two of the books on the list were published in the last decade!
So, Flavorwire took matters into their own hands and put together a list of ten recently-published books that they consider “contenders” for the title of Great American Novel. Among their picks: Netherland, by Joseph O’Neill and A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan.
Set in in a New York City made phantasmagorical by the events of 9/11, Netherland is the story of a Dutchman who stumbles upon the vibrant New York cricket-playing community and strikes up a friendship with a charismatic and charming Trinidadian named Chuck Ramkissoon. As the two men share their vastly different experiences of contemporary immigrant life in America, an unforgettable portrait emerges of an “other” New York populated by immigrants and strivers of every race and nationality. Click to read an excerpt.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning book A Visit From the Goon Squad begins with two characters—Bennie, an aging former punk rocker and record executive, and Sasha, the passionate, troubled young woman he employs. Jennifer Egan brilliantly reveals their pasts, along with the inner lives of a host of other characters whose paths intersect with theirs. Click to read an excerpt.