7 Books About Outsiders

Jonathan Dee, author of The Locals, writes about the black sheep of literature.

“There are only two plots,” John Gardner is supposed to have said (though apparently he never actually said it); “A person goes on a journey, or a stranger comes to town.”

My new novel The Locals would, in that case, be an example of Plot #2: a rich New Yorker named Philip Hadi moves full-time into the small Berkshire town where he owns a summer house. He wants to assimilate, but instead, in the end, he disrupts. The whole stranger-comes-to-town theme may be an ancient one but it is capable of endless variation; here are seven excellent works of fiction that start from the same general premise but end up in fantastically unique places.


Featured image: nuvolanevicata/Shutterstock.com; Author Photo: © Jessica Marx

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About JONATHAN DEE

JONATHAN DEE is the author of seven novels, most recently The Locals. His novel The Privileges was a finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize and winner of the 2011 Prix Fitzgerald and the St. Francis College Literary Prize. A former contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, a senior editor of The Paris Review, and a National Magazine Award–nominated literary critic for Harper’s, he has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. He lives in Syracuse, New York.

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