by request, favorite 1st person novels

So after having a bout of cold feet on my 1st person alternating POV narrators, 35% into the second-ish draft of my novel, I decided to look through a few of my all-time favorite books and see how they were done. I was very surprised to find about 90% of the novels I own (as many of my favorites as I can afford, of course) were written in first-person, and a good handful of those used alternating 1st person narrators too.

Kind of telling then why I’m trying to do the same for my own novel – whether I can or can’t has yet to be decided 😉

The list, favorite novels in 1st person:

A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving
Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens
The Feast of Love, by Charles Baxter (4-5 different narrators)
Kiss Me Judas, by Will Christopher Baer
Lolita, by Vladimir Nobokov
Who Will Run the Frog Hospital, by Lorrie Moore
A Gate at the Stairs, by Lorrie Moore
The Virgin Suicides, by Jeffrey Eugenides (1st person plural)
Then We Came to the End, by Joshua Ferris (1st person plural, and one chapter in 3rd person)
My Sister’s Keeper, by Jodi Picoult (4 different narrators)
The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut
Timequake, by Kurt Vonnegut
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Diaz (2 different narrators)
The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
Survivor, by Chuck Palahniuk
The Sound and the Fury, by William Faulkner

***

Not counting short stories, and not counting books I loved but don’t own.

2 thoughts on “by request, favorite 1st person novels

  1. I think the Gate at the End of the Stairs has the best ending line of any novel I have ever read, bar none. And a Prayer for Owen Meany is a near perfect example of first person narration!

  2. Courtney!!! How are you?!? I miss reading your blogs! And I miss all of our Sunday writing afternoons even more.

    Oh good, I can’t wait to read the end of it then. I only just started that one. But I adore Lorrie Moore, so I’m sure I’ll love it! 🙂

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