Soon after it was announced in October 2021 that Tanzanian British novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah had won the Nobel Prize in literature, a New York Times headline asked, "Why Are His Books So Hard to Find?" Though Gurnah had received acclaim in Britain, including being shortlisted for the Booker Prize, his books had never sold well…
The year’s best fiction included a remarkable number of groundbreaking story collections—some deeply interconnected like Oscar Hokeah’s and Jonathan Escoffery’s, others bound mostly by theme and setting, such as Manuel Muñoz’s. We also reveled in several major releases from well-established authors, including Celeste Ng, Ian McEwan, Yiyun Li and Gabrielle Zevin.
Sophomore novels from Hernan Diaz, Namwali Serpell, Douglas Stuart and Elif Batuman surpassed the high bars of their debuts, and first-timers Tess Gunty, Sarah Thankam Mathews and Bonnie Garmus made a hell of a splash.
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