Society & Culture

Best Novels and Short Story in 2023


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Best novels and short story collections of 2023, from Jhumpa Lahiri’s Roman Stories to Chetna Maroo’s Western Lane and JM Coetzee’s meditations on desire and remembrance.

Recently, the English comedian, actor, and writer Robert Webb spoke about his experiences as a judge for the 2023 Booker Prize. Though it was interesting and fun, he said, it required extreme endurance.

The sheer number of books meant that reading all of them was impossible: “

You finish as many as you can and the other ones you put to one side after a respectable but undisclosed fraction has been read.”

The person tasked with rounding up the year’s best books faces a similar predicament.

It’s clearly a selective endeavour, not definitive in the least. With that off one’s chest, here’s a pick, in no particular order, of 20 memorable works of literary fiction published in 2023.

These nine stories written in Italian and translated by the author and Todd Portnowitz are elegant, ruminative and tinged with melancholia. Simple on the surface, yet anything but simple in their exploration of place and identity.

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