by Verniel Cutar, Sep 21, 2008
The next time you drop by a local bookstore, try to look for the following novels. They are highly acclaimed among literary circles, and have gathered elusive awards and positive reviews from literary critics. I highly recommend these books.
One Hundred Years of Solitude (by Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
Set in the tiny fictional village of Macondo, this novel portrays the rise and fall of the Buendia family. It takes the reader towards a journey of 100 years of rich family and cultural history. The author is a master of telling the story from different vantage points. Although the timeframe for the novel extends to well over a century, the events are not told chronologically but from different angles and time periods. This novel is a Nobel Prize winner.
Midnight's Children (by Salman Rushdie)
This novel won both the Booker Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 1981. It is the only novel written by an Indian author that got on Time magazine's list of top 100 best English language novels in a span of 50 years. The credentials of this book should speak for themselves.
Breathing Lessons (by Anne Tyler)
"Breathing Lessons" won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1989. It is a story that tells the reality of married life and midlife crisis. One of the best modern literary artists, Anne Tyler also authored works such as Earthly Possessions and The Accidental Tourist. All those mentioned titles became smash hits.
Rabbit Is Rich (by John Updike)
This novel is the third part of Updike's "Rabbit series". Rabbit Is Rich was the lucky episode in the series that won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1982. The story is about a former high school basketball star who now faces the challenges of modern society, ever struggling with various factors such as his wife's alcoholism, his uncontrolled libido, his son's misbehaviour, and dark memories from his past.
White Noise (by Don Delillo)
This novel is one of the best examples of postmodern literature. In fact, it is a standard "textbook" for college students taking up literature, primarily discussing postmodernism. Don Delillo's eighth novel, White Noise won the National Book Award in 1985. Film makers also attempted to release a film adaptation of the novel in 2006, but did not fully materialize.
Catch 22 (by Joseph Heller)
Considered as one of the greatest literary works in the post World War era, Catch 22 gained massive acclaim when it was first released in 1961. Today, it is a favorite among famous literary circles and subject of study for avid students of literature, sociology and politics. The story was set during the late stages of World War 2, focusing on a handful of U.S. air force soldiers. The novel is full of satire, political and social criticism, as well as many equally strong underlying themes. Disturbing, humorous, and witty to a full scale extent, this novel is definitely a must read!
Everything That Rises Must Converge (by Flannery O' Connor)
Unlike the other works mentioned here, this work is not a novel but a short story collection. It is, however, considered as an individual literary piece. "Everything That Rises Must Converge" is in fact the first short story in a collection of nine, thereby earning the title for the whole work. The author wrote these short stories during a long period of illness, and were published after her death. She writes with supreme taste, style, and technicality; the readers often find themselves grasping for and holding on to every word.