Most Influential Novels of the Decade

Not the “best,” necessarily, but these are the novels, I think, which will cast the longest shadows to the writers of the future.

2000
Dave Eggers, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

2001
Tie: Ian McEwan, Atonement; Jonathan Franzen, The Corrections

2002
Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex

2003
James Frey, A Million Little Pieces (now that we know it’s a novel)

2004
David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas–although I am┬átempted to say The 9/11 Commission Report: if, as DeLillo alleged, the Warren Report was the greatest novel since Finnegans Wake, then surely The 9/11 Commission Report must at least be a novel (if not exactly Jamesian).

2005
Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

2006
Thomas Pynchon, Against the Day

2007
Denis Johnson, Tree of Smoke

2008
Roberto Bolano, 2666

2009
Padgett Powell, The Interrogative Mood

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