Contemporary American novels please

(65 Posts)
EdBird Sun 23-Feb-14 20:30:23

looking for recommendations for contemporary American novels. Preferably post 9 - 11 but others welcome too.
Books I loved have been Middlesex, Art of Fielding, Virgin Suicides, Secret History, Tinkers, Corrections, We were the Mulvaneys and I am not allowing myself to read Cormac McCarthy books all at once as trying to eke them out
Also dont know of anyone ideas on a female American author who has recently (within last year) published a new book who is meant to be excellent and comparable to Franzen and Shriver? Read about her in the Times and she had such an unusual name that I thoght I would remember it and of course I didnt :/
Thank you

MamaPain Sun 23-Feb-14 21:00:07

Louise Erdrich? I like her recent things.

If you like Franzen, maybe David Foster Wallace would suit you.

I've read a lot of John Updike and Phillip Roth who I think of as contemporary American, although not as recent as you hoped for.

I read a profile of Michael someone recently who gets rave reviews. Can't remember his surname right now though.

EdBird Sun 23-Feb-14 21:28:32

Thanks - have pynchon and foster wallace on my list - which foster wallace first?
Louise Erdrich - thank you - will look smile

DuchessofMalfi Mon 24-Feb-14 00:41:35

Lionel Shriver? I read her novel Big Brother recently and enjoyed it. She also wrote We Need To Talk About Kevin, which I haven't yet read.

SecretWitch Mon 24-Feb-14 00:51:35

I would also recommend David Wallace Foster..Consider The Lobster, is one of my favourite books. His suicide left me feeling so sad at the loss of such a great talent.

moreyear Mon 24-Feb-14 02:46:38

I see you have read the Secret History but was it Donna Tartts new one, Goldfinch?

BabCNesbitt Mon 24-Feb-14 03:30:30

Seconding Louise Erdrich - I'm reading The Round House at the moment and it's excellent. Would also suggest Ann Patchett and Jennifer Egan. And the website The Millions is really good for recommendations for contemporary US fiction.

MamaPain - it wasn't Michael Chabon, was it?

Germanwife Mon 24-Feb-14 03:32:50

Paul Auster - especially 'Moon Palace' and 'Book of Illusions', Auster is the godfather of contemporary American literature. His wife, Siri Hustvedt, is also an amazing writer. Check out 'What I loved' and 'Sorrows of an American'.

And my absolute favourite - Annie Proulx. Check out 'The Shipping News', 'Postcards', 'Fine just the way it is: stories about Wyoming', She wrote 'Brokeback mountain' but I can't rember which collection the story appears.

Then of course there are the usual suspects: Philip Roth, John Updike and Don DeLillo.

HippieInASecondLocation Mon 24-Feb-14 03:39:26

a.m.homes and Jennifer Egan are two I've enjoyed recently.

DuchessofMalfi Mon 24-Feb-14 05:33:00

Agree A M Homes - I've read a couple of her novels. They are quirky, offbeat, humorous observations slightly skewed modern lives. Very enjoyable.

HomeIsWhereTheHeartIs Mon 24-Feb-14 05:36:42

The Good Father by Noah Hawley is ok.

MrsBranestawm Mon 24-Feb-14 05:47:40

Yes to A M Homes.
Also Anne Tyler, but you've probably already clocked her.

I really liked The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton. Written 2008 and set in the sixties. An American friend recommended it to me.

BaconAndAvocado Mon 24-Feb-14 10:16:28

John Irving. Best living American author smile

HippieInASecondLocation Mon 24-Feb-14 10:40:27

Richard Russo is another one I really enjoy. Such a clever, witty author.

SarahAndFuck Mon 24-Feb-14 12:48:59

I've been enjoying Curtis Sittenfeld's books this past week or so. Have finished Sisterland and Prep and now I'm partway through American Wife.

OneHolyCow Mon 24-Feb-14 14:42:34

Claire Messud: The woman upstairs.
Richard Ford: Canada

The comparison with Franzen was probably AM Homes whose name has come up but I hated the book with a vengeance.

Justin Cronin, he has the vampire ones which are excellent, but also the Summer Guest which is just a beautiful family saga.

EL Doctorov, Don deLillo.. Second the Paul Auster recommendation, he is very good but the later works can be a bit ehm.. smug?

Mignonette Mon 24-Feb-14 15:04:04

<<rubs hands together>> My 'specialist subject' smile

These are my favourites and are lighter fiction.

Baliey White - Sleeping at the Starlite Motel/Mama Makes Up her Mind/A Good Year For Plums

Michael Lee West - all of her books but especially 'Consuming Passions/She Flew The Coop/Mermaids in the Basement

Barbara Kingsolver - of course!

T C Boyle - Tortilla Curtain is my fave

Hector Tobas - The Barbarian Nurseries

Karen Russell - Vampires in the Lemon Grove/ Swamplandia

Paul La Farge - Luminous Airplanes

Janice Owens - American Ghosts

Jeanette Walls- The Glass Castle

Ann Patchett -Patron Saint of Liars

Roy Hoffman - Chicken Dreaming Corn

Fannie Flagg- Standing in the Rainbow

Pat Conroy - The Great Santini / Beach Music/ South Of Broad/ Prince of Tides

Linda Bruckheimer- all of them

Lori Lansens - Rush Home Road/The Wives Tale

Wally Lamb - everything he's ever written

Truman Capote - Breakfast at Tiffanys and his Southern childhood memoirs

MrsSquirrel Mon 24-Feb-14 15:05:28

I second A M Homes and Jennifer Egan.

Siri Hustvedt is one of my favourite authors. I don't know if she has published anything in the last year, but I loved What I Loved and The Sorrows of an American.

Parisbanana Mon 24-Feb-14 21:00:34

Don't think anyone has mentioned Tom Perrotta?
Love all his stuff, can't pick a favourite.

FifiK Mon 24-Feb-14 22:19:24

I wonder if you are thinking of Meg Wolitzer 'The Interestings'.
I haven't read it but I've read a few of her others which were excellant.

Mignonette Mon 24-Feb-14 23:04:59

Tom Perotta is a favourite of mine too but didn't want to hog the thread too much smile.

Little Children and his latest novel which has such a clever idea behind it - what would happen if the Rapture came and you got left behind!

Douglas Coupland has had quite a few good novels. He is Canadian though so not sure if that matters or not.

Cherrypi Wed 26-Feb-14 13:02:25

I liked Claire Messud's earlier novel - The emperor's children. They're making a tv show of Tom Perotta's The Leftovers. I'm intrigued as I loved the book.

juneau Wed 26-Feb-14 13:05:05

Lorrie Moore - one of my favourite contemporary authors.

juneau Wed 26-Feb-14 13:05:30

Oh and John Irving - I love his books.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now