January 12, 2009 12:23 AM Subscribe
I'm looking for some relatively modern fiction that is mostly about how people think, or see the world, or become who they are.
posted by salvia to writing & language (25 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
Currently, my favorite authors are Jim Harrison, Robertson Davies, and (I've read less of his work) Phillip Roth.
Davies' books have a whole cast of characters, and he often explains the life story that made each person who they are. Harrison has fewer characters, but not much happens in the book -- the entire book is about how people see and think about the few things that happen.
The central point of the books is not "this is a suspenseful turn of events" or "this war was absurd" or "here is what it is like to live through this oppressive situation [or this historical period]" or "how cool would it be to be an elite programmer [or have these magical powers]." (Not that I'm against any of those as secondary themes.)
The books feel very real to me. People sometimes feel confident and sometimes feel insecure, they worry if they're doing the right thing, they have interpersonal dramas, their pride can get injured, and they want their lives to mean something in the long run.
I'm not sure if what I'm trying to explain makes any sense. But if you have any good fiction recommendations along these lines, I'd love to hear them.