Editors at The New York Times Book Review recently published their consensus choices for the ten best books of 2021, five each in fiction and nonfiction. Four of the five books in both categories are by women.
The fiction selections are:
How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue (author of Behold the Dreamers)
Intimacies by Katie Kitamura (author of A Separation)
The Love Songs of W. E. B. Du Bois by Honoree Fanonne Jeffers
No One is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood (author of Priestdaddy)
When We Cease to Understand the World by Benjamin Labatut (translated by Adrian Nathan West).
You can read more about the fiction winners and the nonfiction choices here.
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The Times’ daily book critics (Dwight Garner, Jennifer Szalai, Molly Young and Alexandra Jacobs) published their top books of the year on December 15, noting that they were limited to books they had actually reviewed. The list was dominated by nonfiction (21), with only eight fiction selections and one book of poetry.
The fiction choices are:
Second Place by Rachel Cusk
Intimacies by Katie Kitamura
The Days of Afrikete by Asali Solomon
Wayward by Dana Spiotta
Crossroads by Jonathan Franzen
The War for Gloria by Atticus Lish
Our Country Friends by Gary Shteyngart
The Magician by Colm Toibin
You can read a synopsis of each book and why it was chosen here.