Best Books of 2021

Much of 2021 has been filled with a dull sense of déjà vu as the coronavirus pandemic has continued to shrink social worlds and batter morale. Many of the books our writers and editors were drawn to investigated failure, grief, apocalypse—resonant themes at a time of constant rupture and regression. Others helped jolt readers out of routines, and stretched the imagination. The works below span fiction, poetry, memoir, and reportage, but they share a keen sense of the world as it is and as it could be.
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