Jonathan Franzen, the author of The Corrections and Freedom, said making a list of his favorite fiction reads was easy: "I decided to make up for my lack of annotations with great quantity."

Here are 34 books he recommends reading.

Continental Drift by Russell Banks

Seize the Day by Saul Bellow

The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles

The Chaneysville Incident by David Bradley

Ms. Hempel Chronicles by Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum

Mr. Bridge by Evan S. Connell

Mrs. Bridge by Evan S. Connell

White Noise by Don DeLillo

The End of Vandalism by Tom Drury

The Hamlet by William Faulkner

Desperate Characters by Paula Fox

Something Happened by Joseph Heller

Angels by Denis Johnson

Jesus' Son by Denis Johnson

Corregidora by Gayl Jones

Independent People by Halldór Laxness

The Assistant by Bernard Malamud

A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore

Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

The Beggar Maid by Alice Munro

Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage by Alice Munro

Runaway by Alice Munro

A Personal Matter by Kenzaburō Ōe

Eustace Chisholm and the Works by James Purdy

Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie

In Persuasion Nation by George Saunders

Enemies: A Love Story by Isaac Bashevis Singer

The Family Moskat by Isaac Bashevis Singer

The Greenlanders by Jane Smiley

The Age of Grief by Jane Smiley

Ordinary Love and Good Will by Jane Smiley

Endless Love by Scott Spencer

The Man Who Loved Children by Christina Stead

Taking Care by Joy Williams

Learn more about each of these novels


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