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

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).

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2. The Remains of the Day

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.

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3. Nineteen Eighty-Four

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.

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4. A Brief History of Seven Killings

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.

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5. The Color Purple

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.

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

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...

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7. A Little Life

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.

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8. The Bone Clocks

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.

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9. The Sellout

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.

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10. Animal Farm

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.

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

  • AABCB
    Arundhati Roy
    • £8.79
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    The Asian literary phenomenon of the 90s. More magical than Mistry, more of a rollicking good read than Rushdie, more nerve-tinglingly imagined than Naipaul, here, perhaps, is the greatest Indian novel by a woman. Arundhati Roy has written an astonishingly rich, fertile novel, teeming with life, colour, heart-stopping language, wry comedy and a hint of magical realism. Set against a background of political turbulence in Kerala, Southern India, The God of Small Things 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 (pickle baron, radical Marxist and bottom-pincher) and their avowed enemy Baby Kochamma (ex-nun and incumbent grand-aunt).
  • AADNT
    George Orwell
    • £6.39
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    A famous novel that covers many questions that are still relevant today, it is easy to see why George Orwell's 1984 has been applauded and acclaimed by so many. Winston Smith works for the Ministry of Truth in London, where Big Brother stares out from every poster and the Thought Police uncover every act of betrayal. When he finds love with Julia, he discovers life does not have to be dull and mundane, and opens up to new possibilities. Despite the police helicopters that hover and circle overhead, Winston and Julia begin to question the Party and are drawn towards conspiracy theories. But Big Brother will not tolerate dissent, even in the mind. A terrifying vision of a totalitarian future in which everything and everyone is slave to a tyrannical regime. This is a classic story that just has to be read!

  • AADNS 14 years +
    George Orwell
    14 years +
    (1)
    • £8.79
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    Mr Jones of Manor Farm is so lazy and drunken that one day he forgets to feed his livestock. The ensuing rebellion under the leadership of the pigs Napoleon and Wellington leads to the animals taking over the farm. Vowing to eliminate the terrible inequities of the farmyard, the renamed Animal Farm is organised to benefit all who walk on four legs. But as time passes, the ideals of the rebellion are corrupted, then forgotten. And something new and unexpected emerges. Telling the story of a revolution that went wrong, Animal Farm is George Orwell's brilliant satire on the corrupting influence of power.

  • ABFDI
    Kazuo Ishiguro
    • £7.89
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    A contemporary classic, The Remains of the Day, is Never Let Me Go author Kazuo Ishiguro's beautiful and haunting evocation of life, lost causes and lost love between the wars in a great English house. Set in the 1950s, ageing and dignified butler Stevens embarks on a holiday that will take him deep into the countryside and his past. The novel is still highly regarded and regularly features high in a number of literary lists. Ishiguro's third novel, it was 1989's winner of the Booker Prize for Fiction and the film adaptation, starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson, was also nominated for many awards.

  • ANORI
    David Mitchell
    (1)
    • £7.19
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    Run away, one drowsy summer's afternoon, with Holly Sykes: wayward teenager, broken-hearted rebel and unwitting pawn in a titanic, hidden conflict. Over six decades, the consequences of a moment's impulse unfold, drawing an ordinary woman into a world far beyond her imagining. And as life in the near future turns perilous, the pledge she made to a stranger may become the key to her family's survival ...
  • AKASE
    Alice Walker
    • £7.19
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    • Save £1.80
    Set in the deep American South between the wars, THE COLOR PURPLE is the classic tale of Celie, a young black girl born into poverty and segregation. Raped repeatedly by the man she calls 'father', she has two children taken away from her, is separated from her beloved sister Nettie and is trapped into an ugly marriage. But then she meets the glamorous Shug Avery, singer and magic-maker - a woman who has taken charge of her own destiny. Gradually Celie discovers the power and joy of her own spirit, freeing her from her past and reuniting her with those she loves. 'One of the most haunting books you could ever wish to read ...it is stunning - moving, exciting, and wonderful' Lenny Henry
  • BPFTA
    Hanya Yanagihara
    (1)
    • £6.99
    • RRP £16.99
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    Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2015, Hanya Yanagihara's A Little Life is an extraordinary novel all about heartbreak and the tyranny of experience and memory.

    Four graduates move from their small Massachusetts college to New York to make their way in life, but soon find themselves broken and adrift and only bouyed by their friendship and ambition.

    Willem is an aspiring actor; JB is a quick-witted and sometunes cruel artist looking to make his way in the industry; Malcolm is a frustrated architect; and the troubled but enigmatic litigator Jude is at the centre of their friendship.

    Jude's life is increasingly broken and fears he'll never be able to overcome his unspeakable childhood, but can his friends help him through it all?
  • ANMKA
    Marlon James
    • £7.99
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    1976: Seven gunmen storm Bob Marley's house, machine guns blazing. The reggae superstar survives, but the gunmen are never caught. From the acclaimed author of The Book of Night Women comes a dazzling display of masterful storytelling exploring this near-mythic event.

    Spanning three decades and crossing continents, A Brief History of Seven Killings chronicles the lives of a host of unforgettable characters - slum kids, one-night stands, drug lords, girlfriends, gunmen, journalists, and even the CIA. Gripping and inventive, ambitious and mesmerising, A Brief History of Seven Killings is one of the most remarkable and extraordinary novels of the twenty-first century.
  • URI2 13 years +
    13 years +
    (1)
    • £3.99
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    The narrator of Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is 15-year-old Christopher who has a form of autism called Asperger's Syndrome.

    His obsessive and unusual take on life creates lots of hilarious situations but also brings incredible poignancy to the story. Christopher finds it hard to relate to people, particularly 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 a difficult and unfamiliar territory that threatens to upset his carefully ordered existence.

    This is an intriguing and insightful novel that will appeal to readers from 13+.
  • AUMWI
    Paul Beatty
    • £10.79
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    Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction 2016 Shortlisted for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Award 2016 A biting satire about a young man's isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court, The Sellout showcases a comic genius at the top of his game. Born in the 'agrarian ghetto' of Dickens on the outskirts of Los Angeles and raised by a single father, a controversial sociologist, the narrator of The Sellout spent his childhood as the subject in racially charged psychological studies. He was led to believe that his father's pioneering work will result in a memoir that will solve his family's financial woes. But when his father is killed in a police shoot-out, he realizes there never was a memoir. All that's left is the bill for a drive-thru funeral. Fuelled by this deceit and the general disrepair of his hometown, the narrator sets out to right another wrong: Dickens has literally been wiped off the map to save California from further embarrassment. Enlisting the help of the town's most famous resident - the last surviving Little Rascal, Hominy Jenkins - he initiates the most outrageous action conceivable: reinstating slavery and segregating the local high school, which lands him in the Supreme Court. In his trademark absurdist style, which has the uncanny ability to make readers want to both laugh and cry, The Sellout is an outrageous and outrageously entertaining indictment of our time.