1980s -- fiction

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Eleanor & Park, by Rainbow Rowell, is a realistic teenage romance of the highest caliber. Our heroes strive for happiness as misfits against the normalcy of 1986 Omaha, Nebraska.

Less than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis

Less than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis

The 1980s has become a time memorialized in current pop culture as a lost, neon wonderland, a time of gargantuan ambition and even more gargantuan hairstyles that would define America for a young generation. Often forgotten are the numerous problems that young people confronted at the time, including the families splintered through divorce, the temptation of easy access to dangerous drugs such as cocaine, and a world that became more individualistic and “winner take all” each passing day. Less Than Zero was Bret Easton Ellis’ first novel, a satire describing the lives of wealthy, young people on their time off from college as they travel through a disorienting haze of drugs, frayed relationships, and pop cultural references. Although not as widely remembered or highly regarded as Ellis’ other “80s novel,” American Psycho, Less Than Zero is still a worthy read for anyone seeking to understand the true essence of the 1980s.

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer

Summer is almost here and many children will be heading to camp. Most parents try to find a camp that will speak to their children’s interests or talents. In the year of the Watergate scandal and Nixon’s resignation, six campers at an arts camp called Spirit-in-the-Woods decide to call themselves, with typical teenaged self-absorption, The Interestings. At camp, everybody gets a trophy for participation, but once they pass through the door into adulthood, who will be ones to keep up with their talents and who may be the one to show it to the world?

A Long Walk to Water

By Linda Sue Park

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When the Sudanese civil war reaches his village in 1985, eleven-year-old Salva becomes separated from his family and must walk with other Dinka tribe members through southern Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kenya in search of safe haven. Based on the life of Salva Dut, who, after emigrating to America in 1996, began a project to dig water wells in Sudan.
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Waking the Dead

By Scott Spencer

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"...the story of Fielding Price, an up-and-coming young attorney in Chicago. He has just been offered a seat in Congress. His victory is virtually guaranteed-all he has to do is run.But on the campaign trail, Fielding finds that he cannot get Sarah Williams, the beautiful love of his life, out of his mind. It has been twelve years since Sarah was killed in a politically-motivated car bombing. But as Fielding is drawn deeper and deeper into the slippery world of politics, he becomes increasingly suspicious that Sarah is still alive."
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Walter's Purple Heart

By Catherine Ryan Hyde

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Michael Steeb is an aimless twenty-one-year-old pot farmer living a day-to-day existence in an unfinished farmhouse in central California in the 1980s. He has no real plans or interests--until the day he connects with the memories of a life that seems to belong to someone else, that of a young American soldier killed in World War II.
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A Girl Like Che Guevara

By Teresa de la Caridad Doval

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Sixteen-year-old Lourdes is a dedicated and proud revolutionary who spends the summer of 1982, along with her peers, at the "School-in-the-Fields," tilling tobacco fields to prove her dedication to Fidel and the revolution.
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The Hunt for Red October

By Tom Clancy

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A deadly game of hide-and-seek played out in 18 days over 4000 miles of ocean. Red October is the Soviet Navy's newest ballistic missile submarine. When the whole crew decides to defect, the Soviet fleet sets out to destroy it, while the US and British fleets attempt to prevent them.

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