“We asked our prestigious panel to create a list of world-changing novels that would provoke, spark debate, and inspire curiosity. It took months of enthusiastic debate and they have not disappointed. There are neglected masterpieces, irresistible romps, as well as much-loved classics,” said the Director of BBC Arts, Jonty Claypole. “It is a more diverse list than any I have seen before, recognising the extent to which the English language novel is an art form embraced way beyond British shores.”
Margaret Atwood and Salman Rushdie’s canonical work is included among the literary classics, children’s books, and graphic novels included in the list, which will form the basis of a digital reading resource on the BBC Arts website. Atwood’s coming-of-age work Oryx and Crake was selected, while Rushie’s genre-busting The Moor’s Last Sigh made the cut. Both authors also made international headlines earlier this year with the release of their latest works, The Testaments and Quichotte, respectively.