How Many of These Award-winning Literary Fiction Books Have You Read?

Have you read these incredible, award-winning books yet? If not, we recommend you add them to your reading list immediately! Featuring breath-taking narratives, profound themes and exhilarating adventures, check out this list of award-winning literary fiction books and discover unmissable stories that will stay with you long after you turn the final page...

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1. The God of Small Things

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Arundhati Roy

This spellbinding novel is teeming with life, colour, and beautiful language, and was awarded the Booker Prize in 1997. Riddled with wry comedy and infused with magic, it also conveys heartrending tragedy. Set against a background of political turbulence in Kerala, Southern India, it tells the story of twins Esthappen and Rahel. Amongst the vats of banana jam and heaps of peppercorns in their grandmother's factory, they try to craft a childhood for themselves amidst what constitutes their family: their lonely, lovely mother, their beloved Uncle Chacko, and their sworn enemy, Baby Kochamma (ex-nun and incumbent great-aunt).

 

2. The Remains of the Day

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Kazuo Ishiguro

This contemporary classic is a haunting evocation of life, lost causes and lost love between the wars. Set in the 1950s, ageing and dignified butler Stevens embarks on a holiday that will take him deep into the countryside - and into his past. The six-day excursion brings back memories of fascism, two world wars, and an unrealised love between the butler and his housekeeper. This dazzling novel is sad yet humorous, a reflection on the condition of modern man, and an account of England at a time of drastic change. Winner of the 1989 Booker Prize for Fiction, it is simply a must-read.


3. Nineteen Eighty-Four

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George Orwell

In London, Big Brother stares out from every poster, and the intimidating Thought Police uncover every act of betrayal. Winston Smith works for the Ministry of Truth, but when he finds love with Julia, he discovers that life needn't be tedious, but rich and exciting. Winston and Julia start to question the Party and are increasingly drawn towards conspiracy theories. But Big Brother will not tolerate dissent - not even in the mind. This unsettling vision of a future dystopian society, ruled with an iron fist by a totalitarian government, will shock and move its readers, and won the Prometheus Hall of Fame Award in 1984.



 

4. A Brief History of Seven Killings

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 Marlon James

Jamaica, 1976. Seven men storm Bob Marley's house, machine guns blazing. Marley survives, but doesn't return to his home country for another two years. Inspired by this horrifying event, Marlon James creates an imagined oral biography that travels between strange landscapes and enigmatic characters. It examines motivations and asks questions through a series of ghosts, witnesses, killers, drug-dealers, conmen, beauty queens and more. Guaranteed to thrill its readers, it won the Man Booker Prize in 2015. 


5. The Color Purple

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Alice Walker

Set in the American South between the wars, this haunting novel stars Celie, a young black girl born into poverty and persecution. Abused by the man she calls 'father', she has two children taken away from her, is separated from her beloved sister Nettie, and is trapped in an ugly marriage. But then, Celie meets the glamorous Shug Avery, a singer and magic-maker, a woman who commands her own destiny. Celie will gradually uncover the power and joy of her own spirit, and will have the chance to free herself from the past and reunite with those she loves. This powerful novel won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1983.


 

6. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

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Mark Haddon

Winner of the 2003 Whitbread Book of the Year award, the narrator of this insightful and intriguing book is 15-year-old Christopher, a boy who has a form of autism called Asperger's syndrome. His obsessive and unusual take on life creates plenty of hilarious situations, but also brings poignancy to a wonderful story. Christopher finds it difficult to empathise with others or understand their emotions and feelings, so when he finds a dead dog and decides to solve the mystery of its death, his quest leads him into strange and unfamiliar territory that threatens to disturb his carefully-ordered existence...


7. A Little Life

 

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Hanya Yanagihara

When four graduates move from their small Massachusetts college to bustling New York to begin their careers, they soon find themselves broken and adrift, sustained only by their bond and ambition. Willem is an aspiring actor; JB a quick-witted and sometimes cruel artist, looking to make his way in the industry. Malcolm is a frustrated architect, whilst the troubled but enigmatic litigator Jude is at the centre of their friendship. But Jude's life is increasingly crumbling apart and he fears he'll never overcome his unthinkable childhood. Now swept up in their own hectic lives, will his friends be able to help him fight his demons? Winner of the 2015 Kirkus Prize, this striking novel is all about the tyranny of memory.


8. The Bone Clocks

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David Mitchell

Meet Holly Sykes: wayward teenager, broken-hearted rebel, and unwitting pawn in a huge, hidden conflict. Over six tumultuous decades, the consequences of a moment's impulse unravel, drawing an ordinary woman into a world far beyond her imagining. And as life in the near future turns perilous, the pledge Holly made to a stranger may become the key to her family's survival... This captivating and magical novel won the 2015 World Fantasy Award.

 

9. The Sellout

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Paul Beatty

Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2016, this cutting satire follows a protagonist who sets out to put his hometown of Dickens back on the map by reinstating slavery and segregating the local high school, which ultimately lands him in the Supreme Court. This novel challenges the sacred tenets of the US Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement and more, in a humorous, perceptive way.





 

10. Animal Farm

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George Orwell

When Mr Jones of Manor Farm forgets to feed his animals one day, they decide to revolt under the leadership of two pigs. The animals take over the farm, vowing to eliminate all of the inequalities of the farmyard. The renamed 'Animal Farm' is reorganised to benefit all - but as time passes, ideals are corrupted and something new, unexpected and sinister emerges... This book is a brilliant satirical reflection on the Russian Revolution 1917 and the Stalinist era of the Soviet Union. It won a Retrospective Hugo Award in 1996 and the Prometheus Hall of Fame Award 2011.




 

Need more exceptional literature in your life? (We hear you!) Check out our full range of the best literary fiction books.