'Beloved' Tops Peers' List of Top Novels

Writer Toni Morrison, photographed in 2005. i

Writer Toni Morrison, photographed in 2005. Pascal Guyot/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Pascal Guyot/AFP/Getty Images
Writer Toni Morrison, photographed in 2005.

Writer Toni Morrison, photographed in 2005.

Pascal Guyot/AFP/Getty Images

Toni Morrison's 1987 work Beloved is the best American novel of the past quarter-century. That's according to a vote of writers and critics who were invited to weigh in with their choices by The New York Times Book Review.

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The 124 literary lights who responded to the Times invitation gave multiple mentions to five Philip Roth novels — especially American Pastoral. Cormac McCarthy has four books on the list: Blood Meridian plus his Border Trilogy. John Updike also has four: each of the novels in his Rabbit Angstrom series, which began with 1960's Rabbit, Run, but stretches into the 1990s.

Times Book Review editor Sam Tanenhaus discusses the list... and the process... with Debbie Elliott.

The 'New York Times' List

The New York Times asks authors to weigh in on the Best Work of American Fiction of the Last 25 Years.

Books Featured In This Story

Beloved

by Toni Morrison

Paperback, 321 pages | purchase

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Title
Beloved
Author
Toni Morrison

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Underworld

by Don DeLillo

Paperback, 827 pages | purchase

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Title
Underworld
Author
Don DeLillo

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Blood Meridian

Or the Evening Redness in the West

by Cormac McCarthy

Paperback, 337 pages | purchase

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Title
Blood Meridian
Subtitle
Or the Evening Redness in the West
Author
Cormac McCarthy

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Rabbit Angstrom

Rabbit, Run, Rabbit Redux, Rabbit Is Rich, & Rabbit at Rest

by John Updike

Hardcover, 1516 pages | purchase

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Title
Rabbit Angstrom
Subtitle
Rabbit, Run, Rabbit Redux, Rabbit Is Rich, & Rabbit at Rest
Author
John Updike

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American Pastoral

by Philip Roth

Paperback, 423 pages | purchase

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Title
American Pastoral
Author
Philip Roth

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