Best of the Millennium

October 13, 2009

Dissecting the List: An Excursus 1

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It’s probably its hospitality to debate that makes the “Best Of” list so popular in the first place. One can agree – yes! great list! – or dissent – Where is x? Why no y? – or inveigh against list-making itself, but in any case, the list holds up a mirror to one’s own preoccupations. As with any mirror, it is fearsomely hard to look away.

October 2, 2009

Best Fiction of the Millennium (So Far): The Longlist 15

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A list of all of the titles nominated by our “Best Fiction of the Millennium (So Far)” panel that did not appear on our Top 20 or Honorable Mention lists.

September 30, 2009

Top 20 Alternative: Manjushree Thapa’s The Tutor of History 5

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There is certainly something to be said for heady novels written by women, when so much of “women’s fiction” is about inner emotional lives and domestic relationships. But it does make me ask the question of why we write and why we read.

September 29, 2009

Best Fiction of the Millennium (So Far): Honorable Mention 6

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As we sifted through the ballots, what struck us was not a “unified sensibility,” but an exhilarating diversity, which we plan to share with you in the coming days.

September 25, 2009

Best of the Millennium, Pros Versus Readers 85

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Our distinguished panel selected 20 incredible books as their Best of the Millennium (So Far). What were our readers’ favorites from the decade now coming to a close?

September 25, 2009

#1: The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen 36

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In the spring and summer of 2001, people who were listening could hear The Corrections coming.

September 24, 2009

#2: The Known World by Edward P. Jones 6

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Jones’ refashioning of antebellum history is profoundly subversive and profoundly satisfying.

September 24, 2009

#3: Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell 13

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It is hard not to make sweeping pronouncements after having lived this book.

September 24, 2009

#4: 2666 by Roberto Bolaño 0

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2666 encroaches on memory; it encroaches on reality itself.

September 24, 2009

#5: Pastoralia by George Saunders 6

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Saunders isn’t simply one of our best writers, but one of our best humans.

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