New York Magazine

The Ten Best Books of the Year

While a few big names disappointed, many of the year’s best books were debuts or sophomore efforts. A changing of the guard is under way.

1. The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead

The dystopian novel hasn’t been enjoying the vogue it did a decade ago: The last really good one was Whitehead’s 2011 zombie fantasy, Zone One. In The Underground Railroad, Whitehead shows there’s no need to look into the future: American history is itself a storehouse of horrors. Though he holds his satirical gifts in check,

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