Wuthering Heights. Pride and Prejudice. Frankenstein. Anna Karenina. The Picture of Dorian Gray. If you’re a bookworm — or took a literature class in school — chances are you know these classic novels, but aside from being considered among the greats, they all have one thing in common: they are old AF. If you’re looking for a great read that wasn’t written a century before you were even born, don’t worry, there are plenty of new books that are well on their way to becoming literary classics.
Don’t get me wrong, I
love the classics. Give a novel written by Jane Austen, Franz Kafka, Virginia Woolf, or the one of the Bronte sisters, and I’ll happily read it — and then talk anyone’s ear off who will listen to me talk about its many merits. But the truth is, sometimes I just want to read a book that feels more relatable, one in which the setting, the politics, the people, and even the fashion is more recognizable.
If you, too, are craving a beautifully written story by one of the greats, but one who is still alive today, then check out one of these five
new novels that should be considered modern classics. 'The Great Believers' by Rebecca Makkai
Rebecca Makkai's third novel has been applauded by everyone from
The New York Times Book Review and Vogue and so many more. A book that is equal parts beautiful and heartbreaking, The Believers tells a multi-generational story about love, loss, and cultural revolution during the AIDS crisis of the 1980s. Featuring unforgettable characters and gorgeous prose written by a true master, this book that the Chicago Review of Books says is "sure to become a classic Chicago novel" is well on its way to doing just that. Click here to buy. 'There, There' by Tommy Orange
Tommy Orange's first novel has been called everything from "masterful" (
The Washington Post) and "brilliant" ( People) to "groundbreaking" and "extraordinary" ( The New York Times), and every word of praise it has received is well-deserved. A gripping and emotional story about twelve unforgettable characters, Urban Indians whose lives converge at the Big Oakland Powwow in California, There There paints a vivid portrait of American lives few readers have ever known. In this best-selling debut, they will finally have the chance. Click here to buy. 'The Female Persuasion' by Meg Wolitzer
Bestselling author Meg Wolitzer, whose novels including
The Interestings, The Uncoupling, and The Ten-Year Nap have earned her national acclaim, and is no stranger to critical praise, and her new novel about female mentorship is no different. Hailed as "uncannily timely" by The New York Times, and "big, necessary, and utterly persuasive" by the Boston Globe, The Female Persuasion is a powerful story about feminism, ambition, power, influence, and the drive inside all of us to find true success and recognition. A classic author well in the making, there is a reason The Washington Post said "Meg Wolitzer is the the novelist we need right now." Click here to buy. 'An American Marriage' by Tayari Jones
When a new novel gets the Oprah Book Club seal of approval, it's basically like being called a classic in the making. A gripping tale love, race, and justice in the United States,
An American Marriage is a beautifully crafted novel everyone from The New York Times Book Review and The Washington Post to former president Barack Obama can't stop recommending. Once you read it, you'll won't be able to, either. Click here to buy. 'Fight No More: Stories' by Lydia Millet
Short stories have long been an American literary tradition, and Pulitzer Prize finalist Lydia Millet's
Fight No More is a welcome addition to the canon. A collection of 12 interlocking stories about one broken family and the L.A. homes they inhabit, this book that The New York Times Book Review called "brilliantly engaged" is a heartbreaking and hilarious portrayal of modern American life, one that is sure to become a classic. Click here to buy.