61 Essential Postmodernist Novels

How many can you name?
Quiz by GlennM10
Last updated: April 24, 2015
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First submittedApril 23, 2015
Times taken70
Average score19.7%
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According to the Los Angeles Times
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Kathy Acker
In Memorium to Identity
Donald Antrim
The Hundred Brothers
Margaret Atwood
The Blind Assassin
Paul Auster
New York Trilogy
Nicholson Baker
The Mezzanine
JG Ballard
The Atrocity Exhibition
John Barth
Giles Goat-Boy
Donald Barthelme
60 Stories
John Berger
Thomas Bernhard
The Loser
Roberto Bolano
Jorge Luis Borges
William S. Burroughs
Naked Lunch
Robert Burton
Anatomy of Melancholy
Italo Calvino
If on a winter's night a traveler
Julio Cortazar
Robert Coover
The Universal Baseball Association, Henry J. Waugh, Proprietor
Stanley Crawford
Log of the S.S. Mrs. Unguentine
Mark Danielewski
House of Leaves
Don Delillo
Great Jones Street
Phillip K. Dick
The Man in the High Castle
E. L. Doctorow
City of God
Geoff Dyer
Out of Sheer Rage: Wrestling with D. H. Lawrence
Umberto Eco
The Mysterious Queen of Loana
Dave Eggers
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Steve Erickson
Tours of the Black Clock
Percival Everett
I Am Not Sidney Poitier
William Faulkner
Absalom! Absalom!
Jonathan Safran Foer
Everything is Illuminated
William Gaddis
William Gass
The Tunnel
John Hawkes
The Lime Twig
Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Scarlet Letter
Aleksander Hemon
The Lazarus Project
Michael Herr
Shelley Jackson
Franz Kafka
Mila Kundera
The Book of Laughter and Forgetting
Jonathan Lethem
Motherless Brooklyn
Ben Marcus
Notable American Women
David Markson
Wittgenstein's Mistress
Tom McCarthy
Joseph McElroy
Women and Men
Steven Millhauser
Edwin Mullhouse
Haruki Murakami
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
Vladimir Nabokov
Pale Fire
Flann O'Brien
At Swim-Two-Birds
Tim O'Brien
The Things They Carried
Harvey Pekar
American Splendor
Thomas Pynchon
Gravity's Rainbow
Philip Roth
The Counterlife
W. G. Sebald
The Rings of Saturn
William Shakespeare
Gilbert Sorrentino
Mulligan Stew
Christopher Sorrentino
Art Spiegelman
Maus I and II
Laurence Sterne
The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy
Scarlett Thomas
Kurt Vonnegut
Slaughterhouse Five
David Foster Wallace
Infinite Jest
Colson Whitehead
John Henry Days
Level 85
Apr 23, 2015
"Sterne", not "Stern".
Level 85
Apr 23, 2015
And "Sidney", not "Sidey".
Level 34
Apr 24, 2015
Thanks for spotting. I expected at least one typo.
Level 70
Apr 23, 2015
i'd be interested to know how the Los Angeles Times compiled this list. For example, Falling Man is another of Don DeLilo's books, it is about 9/11 and certainly would qualify as postmodern. Why did they choose the ones that they did?
Level 34
Apr 24, 2015
I thought the same. I would have thought there'd be more of Vonnegut, Pynchon and David Foster Wallace, but apparently not.
Level 69
Apr 16, 2017
Great quiz! Might do with a disclaimer though, as they're not all novels - there are memoirs, short story collections, and a play on the list. I had a lot of fun trying to mentally run through each author's works, as a lot of the answers weren't their most famous. Good food for thought, thanks.
Level 91
May 19, 2020
In re Geoff Dyer, the quiz should accept "Out of Sheer Rage," sans subtitle.

The Eco title should be "The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana."

In re Art Spiegelman, "Maus" should be acceptable.

Kind of funny how every list of pomo novels includes Burton's "Anatomy of Melancholy." (Thanks, John Barth.)

Can't believe the LA Times left Georges Perec's "Life a User's Manual" off the list but found room for Jonathan Safran Foer, who hasn't written a single essential sentence, let alone an essential novel.