Which are the best novels ever written? This lists focuses on classic novels from around the world, either written in English or that have been translated into English. These are the kind of books that may have featured on your school reading list if you grew up in a country or studied its literature as a student, but you may not be familiar with if you didn't.
Possibly the Platonic ideal of a novel remains Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace or his slightly shorter and more tragic work, Anna Karenina. Less well-known are the Asian classics, including the Story of the Stone, from China, and The Tale of Genji, Japan's War and Peace equivalent.
Europe may be made up of many cultures but its component parts share an artistic and literary sensibility, says Everyman’s Library publisher David Campbell. Here, he recommends five European classics that everyone should read at least once in their life, including “the greatest novel ever written” and some lesser-known masterpieces.
Vietnam has had a tumultuous history and its literature is one powerful way of trying to understand it better. Journalist, author and publisher Sherry Buchanan—who has spent two decades introducing Vietnam’s culture to English-speaking audiences—talks us through the best Vietnamese novels available in English, spanning the years from French colonialism to the 2016 Pulitzer Prize.