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Maureen Corrigan Picks The Best Books Of 2018, Including The Novel Of The Year

Many of the best of this year's books were graced with humor and distinguished by deep dives into American identity. It was also a very good year for deceased authors whose posthumously published books were so much more than mere postscripts to their careers. Rebecca Makkai's The Great Believers-- a sweeping story about the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s and its long aftermath — is my pick for novel of the year.

The Great Believers, by Rebecca Makkai

Lake Success, by Gary Shteyngart

There There, by Tommy Orange

Warlight, by Michael Ondaatje

Washington Black, by Esi Edugyan

Barracoon, by Zora Neale Hurston

The Largesse of the Sea Maiden, by Denis Johnson

I'll Be Gone in the Dark, by Michelle McNamara

Sharp, by Michelle Dean

Heartland, by Sarah Smarsh

For more reading recommendations,visit the NPR 2018 Book Concierge— more than 300 titles, hand-picked by NPR staff and book critics.

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Maureen Corrigan, book critic for NPR's Fresh Air, is The Nicky and Jamie Grant Distinguished Professor of the Practice in Literary Criticism at Georgetown University. She is an associate editor of and contributor to Mystery and Suspense Writers (Scribner) and the winner of the 1999 Edgar Award for Criticism, presented by the Mystery Writers of America. In 2019, Corrigan was awarded the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing by the National Book Critics Circle.