Books Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels

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List of famous literary fiction books, listed alphabetically with jacket cover images of the books when available. Information for these popular literary fiction books is included as well, such as the author's name and the book's publication date. This list includes the best literary fiction novels, textbooks, and stories, so use it to find books you haven't already read and add them to your reading list.

This list contains books like The Road and The World According to Garp.

This list should answer the questions, "What are the best literary fiction books?" and "What are the most famous literary fiction books?"

Note that some books on this list might be currently out of print, but you can purchase most of these notable literary fiction titles on Amazon with just one click.

1
A Cure for Cancer is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
Michael Moorcock A Cure for Cancer is a novel by British fantasy and science fiction writer Michael Moorcock. It is part of his long-running Jerry Cornelius series. The second novel of the sequence, is ...more

2
A Perfect Night to Go to China is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
David Gilmour A Perfect Night to Go to China is a novel by David Gilmour, published in 2005. It won the 2005 Governor General's Award for English language fiction.

3
A Perfect Peace is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
Amos Oz A Perfect Peace is a 1982 novel by Israeli author Amos Oz that was originally published in Hebrew by Am Oved. It was translated by Hillel Halkin and published in the United States by Harcourt ...more

4
An American Demon: A Memoir is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
An American Demon: A Memoir is a 2011 novel/memoir by Jack Grisham that mixes a detailed account of the author's life up until the end of the 1980s with bits of philosophical fiction. The book ...more

5
And the Land Lay Still is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
James Robertson And the Land Lay Still is the fourth novel by Scottish novelist and poet James Robertson. Upon publication in 2010 it was widely praised for its breadth of exploration of Scottish society in the ...more

6
Bearing the Body is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
Ehud Havazelet Bearing the Body is a book by Ehud Havazelet.

7
Beauty is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
Raphael Selbourne Beauty is a novel by Raphael Selbourne first published in 2009 about a young Muslim woman – the eponymous heroine – in search of personal freedom. Beauty was awarded the 2009 Costa First Novel

8
Bloodletting & Miraculous Cure... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures is a short story collection by Vincent Lam, published in 2006. The book, inspired by Lam's own experiences in medical school and as a professional physician, ...more

9
Breakfast in the Ruins is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
Michael Moorcock Breakfast in the Ruins: A Novel of Inhumanity is a 1972 novel by Michael Moorcock, which mixes historical and speculative fiction. It was first published in the United Kingdom by the New English ...more

10
Bring Up the Bodies is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
Hilary Mantel Bring Up the Bodies is a book written by Hilary Mantel.

11
C is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
Tom McCarthy C is a 2010 novel by British conceptual artist and novelist Tom McCarthy.

12
Carl Haffner's Love of the Dra... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
Thomas Glavinic Carl Haffner’s Love of the Draw is a 1998 chess novel by Austrian writer Thomas Glavinic. It was Glavinic's first novel and is about a shy and withdrawn Viennese chess master who in 1910 ...more

13
Charlie Peace is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
Paul Pickering Charlie Peace is the controversial comic novel by British writer Paul Pickering. It was published in the United States by Random House but not in the United Kingdom because of fears of Christian ...more

14
Dirty Weekend is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
Dirty Weekend is a novel by Helen Zahavi, adapted into a film two years later by Zahavi and director Michael Winner. In the US it was first published under the title The Weekend; some editions ...more

15
Divisadero is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
Michael Ondaatje Divisadero is a novel by Michael Ondaatje, first published on April 17, 2007 by McClelland and Stewart.

16
Firing the Cathedral is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
Michael Moorcock Firing the Cathedral is a novella by British fantasy and science fiction writer Michael Moorcock. It is part of his long-running Jerry Cornelius series.

17
I Didn't Mean to be Kevin is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
Caleb J. Ross I Didn’t Mean to be Kevin, the second novel by author Caleb J. Ross, is a domestic grotesque road trip novel about a twenty-something motherless boy embarking on a journey across the country on ...more

18
Ilustrado: A Novel is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
Miguel Syjuco

19
In a Strange Room is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
Damon Galgut In a Strange Room is a 2010 novel by South African playwright and novelist Damon Galgut.

20
Incendiary is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
Chris Cleave Incendiary is a novel by British writer Chris Cleave. When it was first published in the summer of 2005, it garnered international headlines for the eerie similarity of its plot to the 7 July ...more

21
Jerusalem Commands is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
Michael Moorcock Jerusalem Commands is a novel by Michael Moorcock. It is the third in the Pyat Quartet tetralogy. This novel takes place between World War One and World War Two, and in it, Colonel Pyat travels ...more

22
Lord of Misrule is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
Jaimy Gordon Lord of Misrule is a 2010 novel by American writer Jaimy Gordon. It won the 2010 National Book Award for fiction.

23
Love in the Time of the Apocal... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
Greg Blecha Though a dystopian novel hovering over the imminent collapse of American civilization at the hands of a techno-authoritarian state, "Love in the Time of the Apocalypse" is also a book ...more

24
Luv Ya Bunches is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
Lauren Myracle Luv Ya Bunches is a 2009 children's novel by author Lauren Myracle. The book was first published on October 1, 2009 through Amulet Books and focuses on the friendship between four elementary ...more

25
Midnight and the Meaning of Lo... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
Sister Souljah Midnight and the Meaning of Love, originally known as Midnight 2: Word is Bond, is a novel by Sister Souljah that was published by Atria/Simon & Schuster on April 12, 2011. It was originally ...more

26
Midnight: A Gangster Love Stor... is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
Sister Souljah Midnight: A Gangster Love Story originally scheduled to be published October 14, 2008, is a novel by Sister Souljah that was published November 4, 2008, by Atria/Simon and Schuster. It is a ...more

27
Miss Madeira is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
Austin Gary

28
Mother London is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
Michael Moorcock Mother London is a novel by Michael Moorcock. It was shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize. Although the city of London itself is perhaps the central character, it follows three outpatients from a ...more

29
Narcopolis is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
Jeet Thayil Narcopolis is the debut novel of Indian author Jeet Thayil, previously known for his poetry. It is a novel about opium and its effect, set in 1970s Old Bombay. The book begins with the narrator ...more

30
Night Work is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
Thomas Glavinic Night Work is a 2006 novel by Austrian writer Thomas Glavinic. The book was translated into English in 2008 by John Brownjohn for Edinburgh-based publisher Canongate.

31
Oblivion: Stories is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
David Foster Wallace Oblivion: Stories is a collection of short fiction by American author David Foster Wallace. Oblivion is Wallace's third and last short story collection and was listed as a 2004 New York Times ...more

32
Once Upon a River is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
Bonnie Jo Campbell

33
Only Revolutions is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
Mark Z. Danielewski Only Revolutions is an American road novel by writer Mark Z. Danielewski. It was released in the United States on September 12, 2006 by Pantheon Books. It was a finalist for the 2006 National ...more

34
Other Electricities is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
Ander Monson Other Electricities is a novel by Ander Monson. It is Monson's first novel, and is described by him as a work of poetry, fiction and nonfiction.

35
Over the Rainbow is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
Over the Rainbow is the sixth novel by British writer Paul Pickering. It is an often darkly comic love story set against the background of the war and aid work in Afghanistan. It is to be ...more

36
Parrot and Olivier in America is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
Peter Carey Parrot and Olivier in America is a novel by Australian writer Peter Carey. It was on the shortlist of six books for the 2010 Man Booker Prize. It was also a finalist for the 2010 National Book ...more

37
Perfect English is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
Perfect English is the second blackly comic novel by British writer Paul Pickering. It is based on his own experience as an "Internationalista" in the war in Nicaragua against the ...more

38
Please Look After Mom is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
Shin Kyung-sook Please Look After Mom is a 2010 novel by Korean writer Kyung-sook Shin.

39
Prater Violet is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
Christopher Isherwood Prater Violet is Christopher Isherwood's fictional first person account of film-making. The Prater is a large park and amusement park in Vienna, a city important to characters in the novel for ...more

40
Room is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
Emma Donoghue Room is a 2010 novel by Irish-Canadian author Emma Donoghue. The story is told from the perspective of a five-year-old boy, Jack, who is being held captive in a small room along with his mother. ...more

41
Skippy Dies is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
Paul Murray Skippy Dies is a 2010 tragicomic novel by Paul Murray. It was shortlisted for the 2010 Costa Book Awards, longlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize, and was a finalist for the National Book ...more

42
Stranger Will is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
Caleb J. Ross Stranger Will, the first novel by author Caleb J. Ross, is a dark literary noir work, though has been discussed as being “devoid-of-genre”. It tells the story of William Lowson, a professional ...more

43
Swimming Home is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
Deborah Levy Swimming Home is a novel by British writer Deborah Levy, published on 10 September 2012. The short novel deals with the experiences of poet Joe Jacobs, when his family vacation is interrupted by ...more

44
Telegraph Avenue is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
Michael Chabon Telegraph Avenue is a novel by Michael Chabon, published on September 11, 2012. An extensive excerpt from the enhanced e-book edition was released online on July 25, 2012. The novel's setting is ...more

45
The Adventures of Una Persson ... is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
Michael Moorcock The Adventures of Una Persson and Catherine Cornelius in the 20th Century: A Romance is a novel by British fantasy and science fiction writer Michael Moorcock. It is part of his long running ...more

46
The Anthologist is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
Nicholson Baker The Anthologist is a novel about poetry by Nicholson Baker which was first published in 2009. Its protagonist is Paul Chowder, a poet with a commission to prepare and edit an anthology of ...more

47
The Art of Fielding is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
Chad Harbach The Art of Fielding is a 2011 novel by American author Chad Harbach. It centers on the fortunes of shortstop Henry Skrimshander and his career playing college baseball with the fictional Westish ...more

48
The Assassin's Song is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
M. G. Vassanji The Assassin's Song is a novel by M. G. Vassanji, published in 2007 by Doubleday Canada. It is the story of a young Indian boy whose dream is to escape his family's religious legacy. He wants to ...more

49
The Blue Gate of Babylon is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
The Blue Gate of Babylon is the third comic novel by British writer Paul Pickering, published by Chatto & Windus and Penguin Books in the United Kingdom and Random House in the United ...more

50
The Coldest Winter Ever is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Famous Literary Fiction Books and Novels
Sister Souljah The Coldest Winter Ever is a best-selling 1999 novel written by MC and activist Sister Souljah. Set in the projects of Brooklyn, New York, The Coldest Winter Ever is the story of Winter ...more