Title: The Most Inspiring Fiction Of 2017 With the year winding down, it’s about time for a bunch of lists counting up the “best of” and “worst of” in all kinds of categories from the year that was. It’s always a fun time on the internet, looking back on what people best remember from the year, and which stories, songs, films, etc. will ultimately stick out as representing a year in time. Here I’m not going to limit things to the “best of” in a single category, but rather look more broadly at some of the most inspiring works of fiction we saw throughout 2017, whether in film, on television, or in literature.

Exit West – Novel by Mohsin Hamid

This is an incredibly powerful and inventive novel from Pakistani writer Mohsin Hamid. It actually made at least one list of the best fiction books of 2017, and with good reason. It’s something of a sad story about a couple in love fleeing a country thrown into civil war (the country is fictional, or at least remains unnamed). The two choose love over despair, but also have to wrestle with conflicting feelings about the family members and friends they left behind (by using a sort of magical door that transports them “West” in an instant). Again, there’s some sadness to it, but it is ultimately an inspiring tale of the bonds of family and love.

Game Of Thrones – HBO Television Show

Game Of Thrones is more about entertainment than anything else, but the seventh season that aired earlier this year definitely had its inspirational moments. More than anything else, the show continued its streak of female empowerment. Once criticized for using actresses as much for nudity (or even abusive scenes) as anything else, the show has gradually developed several of the strongest female characters on television. It became plainer than ever before during the seventh season that the women hold every bit as much power as the men in this fantasy drama, and that’s an inspiring message to see in a show like this.

Wonder Woman – Film by Warner Bros.

Who was Wonder Woman before 2017? For some she was simply a vintage comic book character, largely forgotten by comparison to some of her contemporaries. For others, she’s a video game personality. She appears in a slot arcade designed for fans of comic books and superheroes, as well as an online MMO for DC characters and the “Injustice” game series. That’s more or less all. But in 2017, this character became so much more. Director Patty Jenkins and lead actress Gal Gadot brought Wonder Woman to cinemas in a way that gave little girls all over the world their first major female superhero to admire. It was as inspired and inspiring an effort as anything we saw in fiction in 2017.

The Big Sick – Film by Amazon Studios

This is an autobiographical independent comedy that was put together by Pakistani comedian Kumail Nanjiani, best known for his role in the HBO tech culture spoof comedy Silicon Valley. It’s recently been making headlines again because it was snubbed at the Golden Globes (to which Nanjiani had a very amusing response). Despite this snub however, this was a heartwarming and uplifting film about young love in modern society and the difficulties of multicultural relationships. Nanjiani hilariously recounts his own real life love story in which he had to overcome the issues that face so many couples in which the people come from different cultural, racial, and/or religious backgrounds.


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