Karen Joy Fowler


    We hate spoilers in Top Ten Land – we’ll let you find out for yourself if Hamlet delivers his revenge, if Ahab catches that pesky whale and if Humbert and the fire of his loins live happily ever after. We have so much self-restraint, we won’t even tell you about the wild, crazy &%^* Walter White pulled on Breaking Bad last season.

    So we found a kindred spirit this morning reading Barbara Kingsolver’s full-throated endorsement of Karen Joy Fowler’s new novel, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves. “To experience this novel exactly as the author intended,” Kingsolver writes on the cover of the New York Times Book Review, “a reader should avoid the flap copy and everything else written about it. Including this review.”

    Kingsolver urges us on by describing it as “a novel so readably juicy and surreptitiously smart, it deserves all the attention it can get.”

     Karen Joy Fowler’s Top Ten List

    1. Middlemarch by George Eliot (1871–72).
    2. The Tempest by William Shakespeare (1610).
    3. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes (1605, 1615).
    4. The Tale of Genji by Shikibu Murasaki (c. 1001–1010 c.e.).
    5. A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare (1595).
    6. Emma by Jane Austen (1816).
    7. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (1847).
    8. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf (1925).
    9. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez (1967).
    10. Dubliners by James Joyce (1916).

    New List

    Francine Prose

    1. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (1877).
    2. The Charterhouse of Parma by Stendhal (1839). (See below.)
    3. In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust (1913–27).
    4. The stories of Anton Chekhov (1860–1904).
    5. The stories of John Cheever (1912–82).
    6. The stories of Mavis Gallant (1922– ).
    7. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville (1851).
    8. Middlemarch by George Eliot (1871–72).
    9. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez (1967).


    Classic List

    Amy Bloom


    1. The Deptford trilogy by Robertson Davies (1983).
    2.Persuasion by Jane Austen (1817).
    3. His Dark Materialsby Philip Pullman (1995–2000).
    4.The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields (1995).
    5.The Known World by Edward P. Jones (2003).
    6. The Beggar Maid by Alice Munro (1978).
    7. The Plot Against Americaby Philip Roth.
    8. The Hours by Michael Cunningham (1998).
    9. Fancies and Goodnights by John Collier (1951).
    10. Larry’s Party by Carol Shields (1997).


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