Looking for those books that are more character-driven than plot-driven? We have you covered with a list of bestselling authors you’re already acquainted with and debut authors making their mark in the genre. So make space on your bookshelves, stop by your favorite indie bookstore, and make those library requests after you’ve browsed our most anticipated literary fiction novels of Fall 2020!
Bestiary by K-Ming Chang
Three generations of Taiwanese American women are haunted by the myths of their homeland in this spellbinding, visceral debut about one family’s queer desires, violent impulses, and buried secrets.
Homeland Elegies by Ayad Akhtar
A deeply personal work about identity and belonging in a nation coming apart at the seams, Homeland Elegies blends fact and fiction to tell an epic story of longing and dispossession in the world that 9/11 made. Part family drama, part social essay, part picaresque novel, at its heart it is the story of a father, a son, and the country they both call home.
Jack by Marilynne Robinson
Jack is Robinson’s fourth novel in this now-classic series. In it, Robinson tells the story of John Ames Boughton, the prodigal son of Gilead’s Presbyterian minister, and his romance with Della Miles, a high school teacher who is also the child of a preacher.
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
Faced with the possibility of changing her life for a new one, following a different career, undoing old breakups, realizing her dreams of becoming a glaciologist; she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life, and what makes it worth living in the first place.
Earthlings by Sayaka Murata, Translated by Ginny Tapley Takemori
Natsuki seems forced to fit into a society she deems a “baby factory” but even as a married woman she wonders if there is more to this world than the mundane reality everyone else seems to accept. The answers are out there, and Natsuki has the power to find them.
A Lover’s Discourse by Xiaolu Guo
A Lover’s Discourse is an exploration of romantic love told through fragments of conversations between the two lovers. Playing with language and the cultural differences that her narrator encounters as she settles into life in post-Brexit vote Britain, the lovers must navigate their differences and their romance, whether on their unmoored houseboat or in a cramped and stifling apartment in east London. Suffused with a wonderful sense of humor, this intimate and tender novel asks what it means to make a home and a family in a new land.
No Heaven for Good Boys by Keisha Bush
Set in Senegal, this modern-day Oliver Twist is a meditation on the power of love, and the strength that can emerge when we have no other choice but to survive.
The Lost Shtetl by Max Gross
A remarkable debut novel about a small Jewish village in the Polish forest that is so secluded no one knows it exists . . . until now.
Memorial by Bryan Washington
A funny and profound story about family in all its strange forms, joyful and hard-won vulnerability, becoming who you’re supposed to be, and the limits of love.
White Ivy by Susie Yang
A dazzling debut novel about a young woman’s dark obsession with her privileged classmate and the lengths she’ll go to win his love.
Eartheater by Dolores Reyes, Translated by Julia Sanches
Electrifying and provocative, visceral and profound, a powerful literary debut novel about a young woman whose compulsion to eat earth gives her visions of murdered and missing people–an imaginative synthesis of mystery and magical realism that explores the dark tragedies of ordinary lives.
Ordesa by Manuel Vilas, Translated by Andrea Rosenberg
A man at a crossroads in the middle of his life considers the place where he’s from, and where his parents have recently died. In the face of enormous personal tumult, he sits down to write. What follows is an audacious chronicle of his childhood and an unsparing account of his life’s trials, failures, and triumphs that becomes a moving look at what family gives and takes away.
Big Girl, Small Town by Michelle Gallen
Meet Majella O’Neill, a heroine like no other, in this captivating Irish debut that has been called Milkman meets Derry Girls
What do you think about the books on this list?
Are any of these books on your TBR? Have you read any of these books? Have you discovered any new favorites? What literary fiction novels are you looking forward to reading this fall?
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