25 Contemporary American Novels You Should Read Right Now

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By Elizabeth DiEmanuele

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Contemporary American literature is subversive. It contains an element of the surreal, bizarre names, plots and consistent, biting commentary. Primarily postmodernist, these works are inherently distrustful. They not only question cultural inconsistencies, they allow such inconsistencies to naturally unfold within the narrative. As a result, contemporary American literature, arguably continues the pattern of highly-politicized fiction popularised in the 18th and 19th century, along with the thought-provoking philosophical questions of 20th century Modernist movement.

  1. John Updike, Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom series (1960, 1971, 1981, 1990)

Much like William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, Updike’s “Rabbit” series is told in a present-tense narrative, destabilizing the novel’s traditional style. Harry ‘Rabbit’ Angstrom is a middle-class man who feels there is something missing from his life. The series follows Harry and his family through marriage, affairs and aging, each novel embodying the…

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