Washington Post’s 50 Notable Books of 2021

50 notable works of fiction

The novels, by prize-winners as well as newcomers, that wowed us this year

By Washington Post Editors and Reviewers

Newcomers and established prize winners alike stunned us this year with exceptional novels. These 50 standouts are worth your consideration.

“Afterparties,” by Anthony Veasna So

Stories about Cambodian Americans burst with as much compassion as comedy in this bittersweet collection by a young writer who died last year.

“Apples Never Fall,” by Liane Moriarty

Joy Delaney is missing, and her husband is the prime suspect. But, as always, the author of “Big Little Lies” has some twists in store.

“Assembly,” by Natasha Brown

A middle-class Black woman exhausted by the stressors of unfulfilling success decides to opt out of treatment for her recently diagnosed breast cancer.

“Beautiful World, Where Are You,” by Sally Rooney

The author of “Normal People” transforms a deceptively simple plot — four people struggling to define their relationships — into a nuanced study of power dynamics.

“Black Buck,” by Mateo Askaripour

This effervescent debut about an ambitious African American man is an irresistible comic novel about the tenacity of racism in corporate America. Read the full list at the Washington Post.

© Literary Affairs, 2005-2023. All Rights Reserved.