A year of literary rebellion – the literature you missed in 2013

tao-lin-tai-pei2013 WAS A STRONG year for literature. We saw a tidal force of book to screen adaptations including The Great Gatsby, The Hobbit and more Game of Thrones. But with everyone rushing to the shelves after stepping out of the cinema to hear – “Did you know it was a book?” – and the continuing prevalence of hefty young adult trilogies we missed out on a lot of great lit.

Last year the forces of alt-lit have returned as Tao Lin released his third book TaiPei. If you’re new to alt-lit Tao Lin is a great starting place along with checking out altlitgossip.com. Though I’m hoping for bigger things from the alt-lit scene in 2014 some of the best of last year include I Am Ready to Die a Violent Death by Heiko Julien and what purpose did i serve in your life by Marie Calloway.

The popularisation of chunky novels that perhaps started with Harry Potter is still dominating the literary market and has turned our attention away from much finer, condensed lit. Short stories and poetry have seen a lot of talent over the last year. Ramona Ausubel released an ethereal collection of short stories entitled A Guide to Being Born laid out like the cycle of life with stories entitled ‘Birth’ or ‘Love’. Poetry included a fantastic alt-lit release from Mira Gonzalez – i will never be beautiful enough to make us beautiful together and Nicole Steinberg’s witty collection Getting Lucky.

Go to Work and Do Your Job. Care for Your Children. Pay Your Bills. Obey the Law. Buy Products. absolutely deserves a mention among the best of 2013. Noah Cicero’s dystopian novel with a title sure to strike cords in fans of Chuck Palahniuk and Bret Easton Ellis is witty, political and relentless. A key read for any post-recession student. Lore Segal’s Half a Kingdom and Douglas Rushkoff’s Present Shock also provide us with literary examinations of our world today that will hook you from start to finish.

2013 was another year of literary rebellion – be it the big controversial hits such as Alissa Nutting’s Tampa or the quieter but even more poignant works listed above. Recession, reform and revolt are all key words this year. Alt-lit is still challenging the way we view lit and ideals and the popularity of anti-capitalist dystopian fiction is rising. Perhaps this year literature will confront our ideals further and continue to change the way we think.