Books of the year 2011: Alex Preston

The Stranger's Child - Alan Hollinghurst

 

Alan Hollinghurst's The Stranger's Child (Picador, £20) was a novel of startling ambition and lapidary prose, exquisitely structured and wonderfully paced. It wasn't perfect but its flaws were heroic and it will be among my books of the decade.

Teju Cole's Open City (Faber & Faber, £12.99) was a close second, a strikingly Sebaldian novel that managed to step out of the shadow of its influences to create a powerfully original and tightly controlled prose. The future, I think.

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