The University of Chicago Library
Contemporary Fiction


Finding Fiction in the Library

Unlike public libraries, the University of Chicago Library does not have a fiction collection separate from its literature and literary criticism collections. Fiction, like most other material, is shelved by Library of Congress call number in the stacks of the libraries on campus that collect fiction. Literature classifies in the P's.

Listed below are links to lists of what some critics have judged the best of recent contemporary fiction:

Granta's Best

In 1983 the editors of Granta (AP2.G73) named twenty writers under 40 as the best of the young British novelists. A decade later they selected another twenty writers. The third list was published in 2003. In 1996 a panel of judges, including Robert Stone, Anne Tyler, Tobias Wolff, and Ian Jack, named twenty American writers as the best of their generation. In April of 2007 the second list of the best of the young American novelists was announced. On each occasion, an issue of Granta was devoted to excerpts from their work. The following lists include a selection of titles by these authors held by the Library.

Notable Fiction and Poetry: Selections from the New York Times Book Review

Each December the New York Times Book Review lists notable books published in that year. The following bibliographies, beginning with 1990, list titles owned by the University of Chicago Library. Since 1997, complete reviews from the Book Review are available online.

2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | Summer Reading 2004 | 2003 | Summer Reading 2003 | 2002 | Summer Reading 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998 | 1997 | 1996 | 1995 | 1994 | 1993 | 1992 | 1991 |1990

Class of 2000 Gift

As its gift to the University, the Class of 2000 established an endowed fund for the purchase of "fun stuff" for Regenstein Library. The gift was intended to provide students with mysteries, science fiction, fantasy, and other popular fiction, as well as other media that would not ordinarily be purchased by an academic research library. Items purchased with the fund are plated with book plates designed by students in the class. Many items purchased with Class of 2000 funds are the result of patron requests, and purchase requests are welcome. Listed below is a sampling of the kinds of material that have been added to the collections as a result of the gift:

A full list of Class of 2000 purchases is also available. The Library has many more items in all genres and formats than are included in the Class of 2000 lists. Search Lens or the Library Catalog for more books by the authors listed here or for more movies. Or search for your favorite authors whose works predate the Class of 2000 gift. Searching by subject is limited since older catalog records for many works of fiction often have no subject headings. One way to identify more genre fiction is to look at bibliographies. Here's a sampling of a few recent bibliographies of science fiction, fantasy and murder mysteries.

  • And the Winner Is...? Recent Literary Awards

    The 2008 Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded to Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio. His recent works include Ballaciner, L'Africain, Wandering Star, and Révolutions.

    Other major literary awards include:

    Current Book Review