New York Magazine Ranks The Best Books of 2020 (So Far) #SciFiSunday
Few publications do a year-end list better than New York Magazine. This best books of 2020 is no exception! Reading fiction got me through the early months of the pandemic, and it’s encouraging to see beautiful books making it out into the world during such unprecedented times.
Since the coronavirus descended on America, interruptions to the publishing world have been scattershot and hard to predict. Some novels, like Hilary Mantel’s The Mirror and the Light, squeaked out just before supply chains went wonky and fears about disinterested audiences sent publishers scurrying. A gush of other big books were pushed to the fall (Elena Ferrante’s Lying Life of Adults, Ottessa Moshfegh’s Death in Her Hands, David Mitchell’s Utopia Avenue), when our collective attention will most likely be swallowed up by the presidential election. It’s a damned hard year, in what’s been a damned hard decade, to release a work of fiction.
And yet the literary landscape — dotted with formally inventive debuts, English-language translations of foreign masterpieces, and long-awaited conclusions to hit historical series — glows in Technicolor, like one of David Hockney’s renderings of lime hills and orchid country lanes. Fiction is rising to contemporary challenges and demands, confronting the certainty of a climate disaster and the exhaustion of gig workers and the infiltration of spying tech without sliding down a cliff into sheer advocacy or Zeitgeist-y drivel. It’s been a bad year for virtually … everything, but there is still a lot of pleasure to be found in these essential works.
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