7 Contemporary Novelists Crafting Immersive Fiction
Reading classic literature written decades or centuries ago can be rewarding, but old books tend to be less relatable than those written by authors in the modern age. Luckily, there are plenty of talented contemporary novelists who write great works that immerse readers in vibrant worlds full of memorable characters. If you're a bibliophile, check out the seven authors listed here. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.
Contemporary Authors Who Write Great Novels
Why Reading Matters
Important Literacy Statistics
- 12%: Percentage of world population that could read and write in 1820
- 86%: Percentage that could read and write in 2015
- 2/3: Illiterate people worldwide who are women
- 85%: Juveniles who interface with the juvenile court system that are functionally illiterate
- More than 60%: Prison inmates who are functionally illiterate
- 90%: Welfare recipients who are high school dropouts
- 2/3: Students who cannot read proficiently by the end of 4th grade that end up in jail or on welfare
- 53%: Percentage of fourth grade students who said they read for recreation
- 20%: Percentage of eighth grade students who said the same
- 30 million: Number of U.S. adults who cannot read, write, or do basic math above a third-grade level
- 1/6: Young adults who drop out of high school
Organizations That Promote Literacy & Reading
If you want to spread your love of literature with those in need, then you should consider looking into these non-profit organizations that promote literacy for people of all ages
How Fiction Makes Our Brains Better
There is little that is more satisfying than becoming completely absorbed in a good novel. It can be difficult, however, to find the right writers, especially those publishing today. This list, presented in no particular order, looks at seven contemporary novelists putting out great work.
#1 on the list, Garth Greenwell is the author of "What Belongs to You," which won the British Book Award for Debut of the Year, was longlisted for the National Book Award, and was a finalist for six other honors, including the PEN/Faulkner Award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.
The book tells the story of a relationship between an American teacher and a young hustler in Sofia, Bulgaria. Greenwell's short fiction and nonfiction reporting have appeared in publications like The New Yorker, Harper's, and The Paris Review. The author's follow-up novel, "Cleanness," delves deeper into themes explored in his previous work.
Greenwell's short fiction and nonfiction reporting have appeared in publications like The New Yorker, Harper's, and The Paris Review.
At #2, Jessamyn Hope is is an award-winning writer of fiction and memoir. Her debut novel "Safekeeping" was a Boston Globe recommended read. Set in 1994, the story begins when a young drug addict from New York City arrives at an Israeli kibbutz, carrying a medieval sapphire brooch that he is seeking to return to a woman his grandfather once loved.
Hope's short memoirs, originally published in literary journals like Ploughshares, Five Points, and Colorado Review, have received two Pushcart Prize honorable mentions and have been anthologized in a number of collections. She has published short fiction in a number of similar outlets. Raised in Montreal by parents from Italy and South Africa, she lives in New York City.
#3 is Esme Weijun Wang, a writer whose 2019 memoir "The Collected Schizophrenias" became a New York Times bestseller. It deals with the experiences that lead to diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder and the medical community's own disagreement about labels and procedures for diagnosing those with mental illness.
It deals with the experiences that lead to diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder and the medical community's own disagreement about labels and procedures for diagnosing those with mental illness.
Wang's debut novel "The Border of Paradise" was published in 2016. Widely acclaimed, it tells the story of the heir to a Brooklyn piano company who sells the company and moves to Taiwan before his mental health starts to deteriorate. Calling herself a friend of ambitious people living with limitations, Wang offers a set of motivational resources on her website and blog.
#4: Megan Collins is a novelist and poet who lives in Connecticut. She teaches creative writing at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts and Central Connecticut State University, and serves as Managing Editor of 3 Elements Review. A Pushcart Prize and two-time Best of the Net nominee, her work has appeared in many print and online journals.
Collins' novel, "The Winter Sister," is about a young woman haunted by the past who returns home to care for her ailing mother and begins to dig deeper into her sister's unsolved murder sixteen years earlier. Widely celebrated, the book has received enthusiastic notices in publications like Crime Reads, Popsugar, Marie Claire, and Cultured Vultures.
Widely celebrated, the book has received enthusiastic notices in publications like Crime Reads, Popsugar, Marie Claire, and Cultured Vultures.
Coming in at #5, Melissa Duclos received her MFA in creative writing from Columbia University. Her work has been published in The Washington Post, Salon, Bustle, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, and Electric Literature, among other venues. She lives in Portland, Oregon and is the founder of Magnify: Small Presses, Bigger, a monthly newsletter celebrating small press books.
Duclos' novel "Besotted," published in 2019, concerns Sasha and Liz, American expats in Shanghai. Both have moved abroad to escape: Sasha from her father's disapproval, Liz from the predictability of her hometown. It received endorsements from writers like Jaime Manrique, Mo Daviau, and Joanna Rakoff. After launching it at Powell's, the author has appeared at events around the country.
The #6 entry is Stephanie Clifford, an investigative journalist and novelist. As a New York Times reporter, she covered courts, business, and media and won the Loeb award for investigative reporting. She covers criminal justice and business for the Times, the New Yorker, Wired, Marie Claire, and other publications.
As a New York Times reporter, she covered courts, business, and media and won the Loeb award for investigative reporting.
Her first book, the novel "Everybody Rise," is a New York Times bestseller and New York Times Book Review editor's choice, with movie rights optioned by Fox 2000. A satirical story of social climbing and old money mores, the book has been blurbed by Malcolm Gladwell and Maggie Shipstead. Clifford lives in Brooklyn with her family.
Concluding the list at #7, Richard Zimler is a novelist whose works have been published in twenty-three languages and been bestsellers in thirteen different countries, including the USA, UK, France, Italy, Brazil, Australia, and Portugal. Born in New York, he lives in Northern Portugal, and publishes children's books in Portuguese.
Zimler's "The Gospel According to Lazarus" is a work of historical fiction, telling the story of the Passion from the point of view of Lazarus. His breakout novel, "The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon," published in 1998, is a challenging mystery and a powerful indictment of the evils of intolerance. Other titles have been set during World War II and 16th-century Portuguese-occupied Goa.