The 12 Greatest Books of the 21st Century (So Far)

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Last week, I started a series of posts looking at the relatively unchanged literary canon taught in American schools.

At the end of the series, I wondered if, instead of trying to cram the square-peg of a 1950’s literary curriculum into the round-hole of 21st century classrooms – what a  21st century literary canon might look like?

A friend just sent along an answer – via BBC. Just a few days ago, BBC Culture released a list of The 21st Century’s Greatest Novels (so far). They polled a few dozen literary critics, got 156 titles, and these were the top twelve:

12. Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex (2002)*

11. Zadie Smith, White Teeth (2000)

10. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Half of a Yellow Sun (2006)*

9. Ian McEwan, Atonement (2001)

8. Ben Fountain, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (2012) Continue reading