Nobody would deny that times are tough. The poor economic climate is bound to have an impact on books and publishing - and, more specifically, on fiction - as it does on just about every other aspect of life. Looking at the titles below, you may be surprised at how many novelists are creating a literary record of the decade's economic woes, just as John Steinbeck did with his Grapes of Wrath.
American Rust by Phiipp Meyer
Set in a moribund Pennsylvania steel town, this bleak but skillful novel deals with what happens to us when our dreams are shattered, when all that is left is the people we really are, without comfort of daily routine or the promise of a paycheck.
American Salvage by Bonnie Jo Campbell
These short stories are full of characters who know how to fix cars and washing machines, how to shoot and clean game, and how to cook up methamphetamine, but they have not figured out how to prosper in the twenty-first century.
The Hole We’re In by Gabrielle Zevin
Novel chronicles families battered by the recession, unemployment and debt, or minimum-wage jobs.
Dream House by Valerie Laken
A classic money pit scenario offers insights into the fragility of home, family and neighborhood.
The Financial Lives of the Poets by Jess Walter
Funny, heartrending novel is a parable of marriage and money troubles in which a well-meaning family man makes decisions that are seriously stupid but entertaining.
Model Home by Eric Puchner
Travails of a family as they literally lose everything, and finally must move into a failed real estate development in the desert.
This Is Where We Live by Janelle Brown
A novel about subprime mortgages, ruthless Hollywood economics, and the unraveling of a young marriage.