Seminal Books of the Last 100 Years

Which books have been overwhelmingly voted as being among the 100 most important works of the 2000s?

Elena Ferrante’s The Neapolitan Novels

Published between 2011 and 2015, The Neapolitan Novels are a four-part series by Elena Ferrante, who hails from Italy, and include My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, and The Story of a Lost child. Characterised as a coming-of-age story, Ferrante has stated that she considers the four books to make up a single novel and only published them serially because of length and duration.

The Neapolitan Novels follow the lives of two insightful, quick-witted girls, Elena, or Lenù, Greco and Raffaella, Lila, Cerullo, from childhood through adulthood and into old age. They try to make lives for themselves against the backdrop of a brutal, stultifying culture of a poor neighbourhood outside of Naples, Italy.

Helen DeWitt’s The Last Samurai

The Last Samurai is the first novel by Helen DeWitt, a writer from the USA who published the work in September 2000. It tells the tale of a six-year-old prodigy named Ludo and his single mother Sibylla. The pair shares a passion for Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, which they watch over and over again, absorbing its lessons in the virtue of these ancient warriors.

Ludo soon embarks on a journey to find his father and approaches seven men, testing their mettle, each of whom is a complex character and is forced to rise to a unique challenge.

The Last Samurai is filled with extraordinary exploits, Greek poetry, snatches of Icelandic legend, and some inventive math problems. But it’s also a work of rare emotional depth that explores the range and reach of love.

Be sure and schedule breaks when reading this tome! Take time out to enjoy a snack, dabble in some of Bet365 NZ services, and check in on what’s going on in the world online, in general, to make sure you don’t exhaust yourself emotionally.

Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections

Published in 2001 by US author Jonathan Franzen, The Corrections revolves around the troubles an elderly couple from the American Midwest and their three adult children face. It traces their tale from the middle of the 20th century to a final Christmas they spend together near the turn of the Millennium.

Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go

This dystopian work of the Science-Fiction genre by British born Kazuo Ishiguro is set in England in the late 1990s. It’s a time when the lives of ordinary citizens are lengthened via state-sanctioned human cloning and explores the intricacies and ethics of this possible future.

Sheila Heti’s How Should a Person Be?

Published in 2010, How Should a Person Be? tells the story of a playwright, Sheila, reeling from a failed marriage and finding herself wondering how to live and how to become a creative being again. She meets Margaux, a gifted painter and die-hard free spirit and Israel, a sexy, rather depraved artist, and tries to regain her footing by observing her new friend, her new lover, and her new self.


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