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Best fiction 2006

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General fiction

Leaving Home, by Anita Brookner (Random House, $23.95)

Anita Brookner's psychological acuity and elegant prose style are fully on display in her 23rd novel, the story of a repressed young woman uneasy in her own life. (Reviewed 1/10/06)

The Accidental, by Ali Smith (Pantheon, $22.95)

A mysterious houseguest wreaks havoc on the lives of an unsuspecting family with problems of its own. (1/10/06)

Arthur & George, by Julian Barnes (Knopf, $24.95)

British master Julian Barnes bases his novel on the facts surrounding the life of Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan Doyle and Doyle's real-life involvement with a criminal case. (1/17/06)

The Inheritance of Loss, by Kiran Desai (Atlantic Monthly Press, $24)

Questions of identity weave throughout this rich, tragicomic novel (winner of the 2006 Man Booker prize) set in both India and New York. (1/24/06)

Gate of the Sun, by Elias Khoury (Archipelago Books, $26)

One Palestinian recites a string of interlocking tales to another in this tragic, yet deeply humane examination of the plight of the Palestinians. (2/21/06)

The Last of Her Kind, by Sigrid Nunez (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $25)

A pair of 1960s college roommates is reunited decades later when one goes to jail and the other is determined to find out why. (2/21/06)

Black Swan, Green Swan, by David Mitchell (Random House, $23.95)

This brilliant coming-of-age tale follows a year (1982) of adolescent turmoil in the life of a poetic British teen struggling with a speech impediment. (4/21/06)

Suite Française, by Irène Némirovsky (Knopf, $25)

Two recently discovered novellas deliver a sharp, ironic view of the Nazi occupation of France, written as it was taking place. (4/25/06)

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