Literature in Troubled Times

In strange times, we look to literature for solace, for explanation, or for a reflection of our feelings. The end of 2020 brought thoughtful pieces by a variety of literary journals, as their critics tried to find books that reckoned with the trials of the year.

On the last day of 2020, The New York Times Book Review published an annual retrospective that reckoned with the year through the lens of books. The article touched on some of the year’s literary controversies, the effects of the pandemic on small bookstores, and the most anticipated releases of 2020. You can read the article here. Please contact a librarian if you need help accessing our school subscription.

While The New York Times piece dealt with book news and recent releases only, The New Yorker dove back further to find the classics that speak most poignantly to today’s world. Their selections include canonical authors like Arthur Miller, Hannah Arendt, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, as well as other writers who might be unknown to readers. The New Yorker’s “Classics that Resonated in 2020” can be found here.

What book spoke to you this year? Drop us a line at, and your response may be featured on our blog!