Literary fiction – or fiction that is distinguished by its ability to lend itself to aesthetic scrutiny – can seem daunting. And sometimes it is. But it is also full of beauty and wisdom, and a genre that needs to become more accessible to masses. So here is a list of books of literary fiction that are great for beginners due to their simplicity of understanding.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Best Literary Fiction To Help Beginners Start Serious Reading - Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Best Literary Fiction To Help Beginners Start Serious Reading – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

This is the original romantic classic – the sweeping love story of Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy. It is also one of the most accessible classics there is, because of its readability. Its sentences, though archaic, are easily understandable and the story draws you in so much that it’s compulsively readable. It is this perfect to begin a classic reading spree.

First Love by Ivan Turgenev

First Love by Ivan Turgenev
First Love by Ivan Turgenev

The plot of this tender novella follows a dinner party where everyone recounts vibrant stories of their first love. The narrator begins to tell his own story, he reminisces on his days of adolescence, when he first found love in an older woman. Not only is the story easily readable due to the simplicity of langauge, but also very short and thus perfect for beginners.

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

Best Literary Fiction To Help Beginners Start Serious Reading - On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
Best Literary Fiction To Help Beginners Start Serious Reading – On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

Vuong is one of the most acclaimed authors of the modern generation, and his debut novel is almost like poetry. This book follows a gay Vietnamese American unnamed narrator as he forges his identity in the world. It is so lucid and lyrical that anyone and everyone in the world will be able to appreciate its language – beginners and stalwarts alike.

After Dark by Haruki Murakami

After Dark by Haruki Murakami
After Dark by Haruki Murakami

Murakami’s classic magical realist style exposes itself vividly in this beautiful novel that unfolds over the course of a single night. Various characters interact and depart, leaving behind stains on memory. The reason a beginner would love this book is that it is so atmospheric, but also has memorable characters and a touch of fantasy.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Best Literary Fiction To Help Beginners Start Serious Reading - The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Best Literary Fiction To Help Beginners Start Serious Reading – The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

This is another classic that is quite accessible due to the magnetism of themes, story and ingenuity of the plot. We essentially follow a young and beautiful man who wishes that he remain immortal while his portrait grow old and ugly. When this wish is granted, he spirals down a road of immorality because sin never reflects on his beautiful and innocent face.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

This is a modern classic, and the tale of two women in Afghanistan and their individual fight for freedom. This book is heavy in its themes like much of literary fiction, but it is also brilliant. The language is readable yet beautiful and there are some quotes that stand out and blow the mind away. The story itself is also beautifully heartbreaking.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Best Literary Fiction To Help Beginners Start Serious Reading - The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Best Literary Fiction To Help Beginners Start Serious Reading – The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Perhaps the greatest novel of America, Fitzgerald’s masterpiece is the story of decadence and materialism the roaring twenties. We follow Gatsby, our narrator’s neighbour, and the rekindling of his romance with his married ex-sweetheart, Daisy. This book is short and full of interesting themes and allusions. It’s quite accessible for beginners.

Sula by Toni Morrison

Sula by Toni Morrison
Sula by Toni Morrison

This book follows a young girl living with an abusive father who berates her for the slightest non compliance with the strictest religious rules. But when she spends a holiday with her aunt, she understands what freedom, love and life can look like. This empowers her to fight against the abuse. This book has a compelling story with interesting themes.

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