Best Fiction-Poetry of 2017

Notable Books list selected by the editors of The New York Times

AMERICAN WAR. By Omar El Akkad. (Knopf, $26.95.) This haunting debut novel imagines the events that lead up to and follow the Second American Civil War at the turn of the 22nd century.

ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. By Elizabeth Strout. (Random House, $27.) This audacious novel is about small-town characters struggling to make sense of past family traumas.

AUTUMN. By Ali Smith. (Pantheon, $24.95.) Smith’s ingenious novel is about the friendship between a 101-year-old man and a 32-year-old woman in Britain after the Brexit vote.

BAD DREAMS AND OTHER STORIES. By Tessa Hadley. (Harper/HarperCollins, $26.99.) Hadley serves up the bitter along with the delicious in these 10 stories.

BEAUTIFUL ANIMALS. By Lawrence Osborne. (Hogarth, $25.) On a Greek island, two wealthy young women encounter a handsome Syrian refugee, whom they endeavor to help, with disastrous results.

THE BOOK OF JOAN. By Lidia Yuknavitch. (Harper/HarperCollins, $26.99.) In this brilliant novel, Earth, circa 2049, has been devastated by global warming and war.

A BOY IN WINTER. By Rachel Seiffert. (Pantheon, $25.95.) Seiffert’s intricate novel probes the bonds and betrayals in a Ukrainian town as it succumbs to Hitler.

THE CHANGELING. By Victor LaValle. (Spiegel & Grau, $28.) LaValle’s novel, about Apollo Kagwa, a used-book dealer, blends social criticism with horror, while remaining steadfastly literary.

CHRISTMAS DAYS: 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days. By Jeanette Winterson. (Grove, $24.) A gift book from the British novelist, containing otherworldly and wickedly funny stories.

DANCE OF THE JAKARANDA. By Peter Kimani. (Akashic, paper, $15.95.) This funny, perceptive and ambitious work of historical fiction by a Kenyan poet and novelist explores his country’s colonial past.

THE DARK FLOOD RISES. By Margaret Drabble. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $26.) This masterly novel follows its 70-something heroine on a road trip through England.

THE DINNER PARTY: And Other Stories. By Joshua Ferris. (Little, Brown, $26.) Anxiety, self-consciousness and humiliation are the default inner states of the characters in these 11 stories.

THE ESSEX SERPENT. By Sarah Perry. (Custom House/Morrow, $26.99.) This novel’s densely woven plot involves an independent-minded widow and the possible haunting presence of a giant serpent.

EXIT WEST. By Mohsin Hamid. (Riverhead, $26.) The new novel by the author of “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” and “How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia” mixes global unrest with a bit of the fantastic.

FAST. By Jorie Graham. (Ecco/HarperCollins, $25.99.) Graham created these poems against a backdrop of personal and political trauma — her parents are dying, she is undergoing cancer treatment, the nation is mired in war and ecological crisis.

FIVE-CARAT SOUL. By James McBride. (Riverhead, $27.) In his delightful first story collection, the author of the National Book Award-winning novel “The Good Lord Bird” continues to explore race, masculinity, music and history.

FOREST DARK. By Nicole Krauss. (Harper/HarperCollins, $27.99.) Tracing the lives of two Americans in Israel, this restless novel explores the mysteries of disconnection and the divided self.

4 3 2 1. By Paul Auster. (Holt, $32.50.) Auster’s book is an epic bildungsroman that presents the reader with four versions of the formative years of a Jewish boy born in Newark in 1947.

FRESH COMPLAINT: Stories. By Jeffrey Eugenides. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $27.) Eugenides’s expert debut collection of short stories is his first book since “The Marriage Plot” in 2011.

FUTURE HOME OF THE LIVING GOD. By Louise Erdrich. (HarperCollins, $28.99.) What if human beings are neither inevitable nor ultimate? That’s the premise of Erdrich’s fascinating new novel.

GIVING GODHEAD. By Dylan Krieger. (Delete, paper, $17.99.) POETRY Seamlessly mixing the religious with the obscene, Krieger’s poetry is inventive and powerful.

HISTORY OF WOLVES. By Emily Fridlund. (Atlantic Monthly, $25.) A slow-motion tragedy unfolds in Minnesota’s north woods in Fridlund’s disturbing debut.

HOME FIRE. By Kamila Shamsie. (Riverhead, $26.) A bold retelling of Sophocles’ “Antigone” that follows the lives of three British siblings of Pakistani descent.

HOMESICK FOR ANOTHER WORLD. By Ottessa Moshfegh. (Penguin Press, $26.) The insightful stories in this dark debut collection are about “loneliness, desire, hope and self-awareness.”

A HORSE WALKS INTO A BAR. By David Grossman. Translated by Jessica Cohen. (Knopf, $29.95.) Grossman’s magnificently funny, sucker-punch-tragic novel about a tormented stand-up comedian combines comic dexterity with Portnoyish detail.

THE IDIOT. By Elif Batuman. (Penguin Press, $27.) An innocent, language-intoxicated teenager, the daughter of Turkish immigrants, arrives at Harvard in the ’90s to pursue love and (especially) literature in Batuman’s hefty, gorgeous digressive slab of a novel.

ILL WILL. By Dan Chaon. (Ballantine, $28.) Chaon’s dark, disturbing literary thriller encompasses drug addiction, accusations of satanic abuse and a self-deluding Midwestern psychologist.

A KIND OF FREEDOM. By Margaret Wilkerson Sexton. (Counterpoint, $26.) This assured first novel shines an unflinching, compassionate light on three generations of a black family in New Orleans.

LESS. By Andrew Sean Greer. (Lee Boudreaux/Little, Brown, $26.) On the eve of his 50th birthday and a former lover’s wedding, a mediocre novelist takes refuge in literary invitations that enable him to travel around the world.

LINCOLN IN THE BARDO. By George Saunders. (Random House, $28.) In this Man Booker Prize-winning first novel by a master of the short story, Abraham Lincoln visits the grave of his son Willie in 1862, and is surrounded by ghosts in purgatory.

MANHATTAN BEACH. By Jennifer Egan. (Scribner, $28.) Egan’s engaging novel tells overlapping stories, but is most fundamentally about a young woman who works at the Brooklyn Naval Yard during World War II.

MRS. OSMOND. By John Banville. (Knopf, $27.95.) Banville’s sequel to Henry James’s “Portrait of a Lady” follows Isabel Archer back to Rome and the possible end of her marriage.

MY ABSOLUTE DARLING. By Gabriel Tallent. (Riverhead, $27.) The heroine of this debut novel is Turtle, a 14-year-old who grows up feral in the forests and hills of Northern California.

NEW PEOPLE. By Danzy Senna. (Riverhead, $26.) Senna’s sinister and charming novel, about a married couple who are both biracial, riffs on themes she’s made her own — about what happens when races and cultures mingle in the home, and under the skin.

THE NINTH HOUR. By Alice McDermott. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $26.) In McDermott’s novel, the cause of a young Irish widow and her daughter is taken up by the nuns of a Brooklyn convent.

PACHINKO. By Min Jin Lee. (Grand Central, $27.) This stunning novel chronicling four generations of an ethnic Korean family in Japan is about outsiders and much more.

THE POWER. By Naomi Alderman. (Little, Brown, $26.) In this fierce and unsettling novel, the ability to generate a dangerous electrical force from their bodies lets women take control, resulting in a vast, systemic upheaval of gender dynamics across the globe.

THE REFUGEES. By Viet Thanh Nguyen. (Grove, $25.) This superb collection of stories concerns men and women displaced from wartime Saigon and (mostly) settled in California.

SELECTION DAY. By Aravind Adiga. (Scribner, $26.) Adiga’s third novel (he won the Booker Prize in 2008 for “The White Tiger”) is a sharp look at modern India. It revolves around two teenage brothers groomed by their father to be cricket stars.

A SEPARATION. By Katie Kitamura. (Riverhead, $25.) Deceptions pile on deceptions in this coolly unsettling postmodern mystery, in which a British woman travels to a Greek fishing village to search for her estranged husband, who has disappeared.

SING, UNBURIED, SING. By Jesmyn Ward. (Scribner, $26.) Ward’s novel, which won the National Book Award, combines aspects of the American road novel and the ghost story with an exploration of the long aftershocks of a hurricane.

SIX FOUR. By Hideo Yokoyama. Translated by Jonathan Lloyd-Davies. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $28.) A former criminal investigator, now working in police media relations, faces angry reporters, the nagging 14-year-old case of a kidnapped girl, and his own teenage daughter’s disappearance.

STAY WITH ME. By Ayobami Adebayo. (Knopf, $25.95.) This debut novel is a portrait of a marriage in Nigeria beginning in the politically tumultous 1980s.

THE STONE SKY: The Broken Earth: Book Three. By N.K. Jemisin. (Orbit, paper, $16.99.) Jemisin won a Hugo Award for each of the first two novels in her Broken Earth trilogy. In the extraordinary conclusion, a mother and daughter do geologic battle for the fate of the earth.

TIES. By Domenico Starnone. Translated by Jhumpa Lahiri. (Europa, paper, $16.) The husband of the woman who has been identified as Elena Ferrante offers a powerful novel about a fraying marriage.

TRANSIT. By Rachel Cusk. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $26.) In the second novel of a planned trilogy, Cusk continues the story of Faye, a writer and teacher who is recently divorced and semi-broke.

WAKING LIONS. By Ayelet Gundar-Goshen. Translated by Sondra Silverston. (Little, Brown, $26.) An Israeli doctor in the Negev accidentally hits an Eritrean immigrant, then drives off. The consequences are explored with insight and a thriller’s twists and turns.

WHEREAS. By Layli Long Soldier. (Graywolf, paper, $16.) POETRY Long Soldier, a member of the Oglala Sioux tribe, troubles our consideration of the language we use to carry our personal and national narratives in this moving debut poetry collection.

WHITE TEARS. By Hari Kunzru. (Knopf, $26.95.) This complex ghost story about racial privilege, cultural appropriation and the blues is written with Kunzru’s customary eloquence and skill.

WHO IS RICH? By Matthew Klam. Illustrated by John Cuneo. (Random House, $27.) The protagonist of this novel, a middle-aged illustrator, is a conflicted adulterer. Klam agilely balances an existentially tragic story line with morbid humor and self-assured prose.