It may seem an odd genre, but if writers like F. Scott Fitzgerald or John Cheever focused on the lives of the upper middle class in the last century, a more recent crop of authors, such as Larry Brown and Richard Russo find their inspiration among the masses. They are following in the footsteps of writers such as Upton Sinclair (The Jungle) and James T. Farrell (Studs Lonigan) who tried to capture the blue collar lives of an earlier era.
One such author is Stewart O'Nan. Viking Press has just announced the release of his newest novel, Last Night at the Lobster, about the lives of the staff at an aging Red Lobster restaurant in a decaying mall in New Britain, CT. Some of O’Nan’s other books include: The Good Wife; The Night Country; and Everyday People.
If you enjoy a fictional glimpse into the lives of regular folks, try these books:
The Beans of Egypt by Carolyn Chute
Empire Falls by Richard Russo
Fay by Larry Brown
Live Like You Were Dying by Michael Morris
Tell Me a Riddle by Tillie Olsen
Well by Matthew McIntosh