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The Financial Times Best Fiction Books of the Year 2019

FT Best Fiction Books of the Year

The Financial Times has published its critics' selections of the best books of the year - and we start off with its list of the best fiction of 2019. 

Joint-Booker Prize winners The Testaments by Margaret Atwood and Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo head the list which is made up of 7 female and 5 male writers.  

You can view the full list at the FT's website (subscription required). 

Margaret Atwood

3.93 out of 5

24 reviews

And so I step up, into the darkness within; or else the light. When the van door slammed on Offred's future at the end of The Handmaid's Tale, readers had no way of telling what lay ahead. With The Testaments, the wait is over. Margaret Atwood's sequel picks up the story 15 years after Offred stepped into the unknown, with the explosive testaments of three female narrators from Gilead.

Taffy Brodesser-Akner

4.14 out of 5

9 reviews

A BLISTERING SATIRICAL NOVEL ABOUT MARRIAGE, DIVORCE AND MODERN LOVE, BY ONE OF THE MOST EXCITING NEW VOICES IN AMERICAN FICTION

Ta-Nehisi Coates

3.36 out of 5

9 reviews

The unmissable debut novel by the critically acclaimed author of Between the World and Me and We Were Eight Years in Power - a richly imagined and compulsively page-turning journey to freedom Hiram Walker is born into bondage on a Virginia plantation. But he is also born gifted with a mysterious power that he won't discover until he is almost a man, when he risks everything for a chance to escape.

Lucy Ellmann

4.27 out of 5

11 reviews

A scorching indictment of America's barbarity, past and present, and a lament for the way we are sleepwalking into environmental disaster, Ducks, Newburyport is a heresy, a wonder - and a revolution in the novel.

Bernardine Evaristo

4.11 out of 5

14 reviews

Teeming with life and crackling with energy - a love song to modern Britain and black womanhood 'There is an astonishing uniqueness to all Bernardine Evaristo's writing, but especially in Girl, Woman, Other.

Sarah Hall (Author)

4.05 out of 5

10 reviews

Sudden Traveller is Sarah Hall's third story collection. From Turkish forest and coastline to the gorges of the Pacific Northwest and the rain-drenched villages of Cumbria, Hall's characters walk, drive, dream, and fly, trying to reconcile themselves with their journeys through life, death, and love.

John Lanchester

3.90 out of 5

14 reviews

The best-selling author of The Debt to Pleasure and Capital returns with a chilling fable for our time. Ravaged by the Change, an island nation in a time very like our own has built the Wall-an enormous concrete barrier around its entire coastline. Joseph Kavanagh, a new Defender, has one task: to protect his section of the Wall from the Others, the desperate souls who are trapped amid the rising seas outside and are a constant threat.

Ben Lerner (Y)

4.27 out of 5

15 reviews

Deftly shifting perspectives and time periods, The Topeka School is a riveting story about the challenges of raising a good son in a culture of toxic masculinity. It is also a startling prehistory of the present: the collapse of public speech, the tyranny of trolls and the new right, and the ongoing crisis of identity among white men.

Deborah Levy

4.15 out of 5

16 reviews

Electrifying and audacious, an unmissable new novel about old and new Europe, old and new love, from the twice-Man Booker-shortlisted author of Hot Milk and Swimming Home

Chigozie Obioma

4.07 out of 5

12 reviews

The second novel by the author of The Fishermen (shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize). Umuahia, Nigeria. Chinonso, a young poultry farmer, sees a woman attempting to jump to her death from a highway bridge. Horrified by her recklessness, Chinonso joins her on the roadside and hurls two of his most prized chickens into the water below to demonstrate the severity of the fall. The woman, Ndali, is moved by his sacrifice. Bonded by this strange night on the bridge, Chinonso and Ndali fall in love.

Edna O'Brien

4.48 out of 5

17 reviews

and a descent into the labyrinthine bureaucracy and hostility awaiting a victim who returns home with a child blighted by enemy blood. From one of the century's greatest living authors, Girl is an unforgettable story of one victim's astonishing survival, and her unflinching faith in the redemption of the human heart.

Elif Shafak

4.05 out of 5

8 reviews

An intensely powerful new novel from the best-selling author of The Bastard of Istanbul and Honour - available for pre-order now 'One of the best writers in the world today' Hanif Kureishi 'Haunting, moving, beautifully written - and based by an extraordinary cast of characters who capture the diversity of modern Turkey.

Colson Whitehead

4.50 out of 5

13 reviews

A devastating novel - based on true events - of a hellish American reform school, from the Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Underground Railroad.