Favorite Books from Nobel Winners of the 2000s
I mentioned last year that I finished reading every novel that won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction (although now I have one more to read!). I have now started working my way through the list of authors who have won the Nobel Prize in Literature.
This task is not as easy as the Pulitzer because instead of a particular book winning a prize, I have to pick a book from each author, which usually takes a lot more thought and consideration than it really should.
I recently finished reading through the list of authors who have won a Nobel in the 2000s. It was such a treat to be reading from a globally diverse list (the Pulitzer is only for U.S. citizens) and I came across some great novels to share.
In no particular order, here are my top five books from Nobel winners in the 2000s:
1) Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing
It’s a little strange that a novel written in the 1960s would be in this list, but Doris Lessing won the Nobel in 2007. I sometimes read books about women (either written by men or women) and get to the end thinking that it was lacking something real. I struggle with putting this “real-ness” in words, but with the Golden Notebook this is definitely not the case. A fascinating and real look at women trying out this whole “modern” thing in the 20th century. Deep and memorable.
2) Snow by Orhan Pamuk
Dubbed as a thriller, I have to say that I don’t entirely agree with that characterization. Yes it was mysterious, but I found that the way the characters are interrelated and their depth are much better selling points for this novel. Mainly the novel is about Turkey’s secular versus religious struggle. As an admitted snow fan, I also enjoyed the central role that snow played in the book.
3) The Feast of the Goat by Mario Vargas Llosa
Going in to this novel I had very limited knowledge of Trujillo and his tyrannical rule of the Dominican Republic. The novel tells the story of Trujillo’s assassination from the vantage point of several different characters. The most interesting part of this approach is that the characters actually span different generations and are told from different points in time spanning several decades.
4) Fateless by Imre Kertész
The story is about a young man in a concentration camp returning home and finding no one who can relate to him or even wants to talk to him about his experience. This comes to life even more when you learn that the author himself went through the exact same life experience. It is a really moving story, if not just for the description of life in a concentration camp from the eyes of a child.
5) The Appointment by Herta Müller
If you are a Kafka fan you will be able to appreciate this novel with its complicated, demeaning, and seemingly never-ending appointments with secret police in Communist Romania.