Bonnie Garmus’ devastating and funny debut novel, Lessons in Chemistry, blows the lid off the simplistic myth of post-World War II American life.
When people reminisce about America’s “good old days,” they’re often envisioning the idyllic post-World War II period of the 1950s: between V-E Day and the beginning of the Vietnam War, a booming time of power and prosperity. Like a woman-centric “Mad Men,” Bonnie Garmus’ devastating and funny debut novel, Lessons in Chemistry, blows the lid…
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.