Entertainment Weekly

Modern Family

The Obama era ushered in a new way of thinking about the American family, and literature was no exception. With the holidays upon us, EW has chosen the 20 best post-2008 family novels (listed here in chronological order), all of which redefine the bond in different—and exhilarating—ways.

1 THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU

Jonathan Tropper (2009)

This is a tense, buzzy take on the fraught dynamics between adult siblings—think The Family Stone meets August: Osage County. The family reunion at hand here, sparked by the death of the patriarch, triggers news of adultery, divorce, and the reminder that in times of grief, sometimes the only cure for tears is laughter. —SR

2 FREEDOM

Jonathan Franzen (2010)

Franzen’s follow-up to The Corrections focuses again on a dysfunctional, rather unhappy nuclear family, but before long veers into the sharp political divide that’s become all too familiar in the post-Obama years. A liberal couple in Minnesota, once beacons of the neighborhood, contend with their son moving in with Republican neighbors—and their own marriage falling apart. —SR

3 THE FAMILY FANG

Kevin Wilson (2011)

There are hard-driving showbiz dads and overbearing momagers, and then there are the Fangs: a couple so committed to real-life-as-performance-art that they sacrifice nearly every idea

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