Best Of

The New York Times asked a large group of writers, editors and literary critics (about two hundred people) to name the “best work of American fiction of the last 25 years.” (A.O. Scott explains the process of selection in an essay for the Review.) The novel with the most votes: Toni Morrison’s Beloved. The full list is available here. While I’ve read and like many of the books here, I just can’t get excited about this list. It strikes me as an exercise in futility, frankly, because each reader is different, and what seems excellent to some readers may seem terrible to others. (And I suspect there are people already working on their own, alternative lists, in reaction to this one.)