For a break from the usual political biography books, check out these fiction books that are actually set in Washington, D.C.!

Washington, D.C., is the backdrop for many books. While most of these books are written by rising politicians, some great fiction books have also starred Washington, D.C., as the backdrop to their stories. Check out our list of five fiction books that showcase the diverse voices of this city!

Speak No Evil | by Uzodinma Iweala

[caption id="attachment_9542" align="aligncenter" width="531"]fiction books Courtesy of Goodreads[/caption] This heartbreaking novel addresses many social issues, such as queer acceptance, the immigrant story, and police brutality. The story follows Niru, who lives in Washington, D.C., with his Nigerian-American parents. After his parents and closest friend discover Niru is gay, the teen and those close to him begin a difficult journey. His best female friend struggles to fall out of love with him while his father uses controversial tactics to convince his son he is straight. Niru navigates the streets of Washington, D.C., from the mansions on O Street to Georgetown, looking for answers and ultimately acceptance. Purchase it here.

The Hopefuls | by Jennifer Close

[caption id="attachment_9543" align="aligncenter" width="576"]fiction books Courtesy of Amazon[/caption] This funny and young novel follows a married couple as they move to Washington, D.C., to advance the husband's political career. The book may sound relatable to Washington, D.C., residents as Beth struggles to adjust to some of the more difficult parts of D.C. life, such as the humidity, constant networking, and traffic circles. The couple begins an intense and tumultuous friendship with a White House staffer, and their marriage begins to unravel. Politics & Prose says, "A glorious send-up of young D.C. and a blazingly honest portrait of a marriage, this is the finest work yet by one of our most beloved writers." Purchase it here.

The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears | by Dinaw Mengestu

[caption id="attachment_9544" align="aligncenter" width="493"]fiction books Courtesy of Amazon[/caption] This story follows Sepha Stephanos as he tries to navigate what the "American dream" means to him in Washington, D.C. Sepha escaped Ethiopia during the Ethiopian Revolution and moved to Washington, D.C., to begin a new life. Seventeen years later, Sepha struggles to get by as he runs a small grocery store in Dupont Circle -- until a mysterious and friendly white woman moves into his predominately black neighborhood. Their relationship and Sepha's life meet obstacles as racial tensions intensify in their community. This beautifully written book explores immigration, gentrification, aspiration, and defeat. Purchase it here.

River, Cross My Heart | by Breena Clarke

[caption id="attachment_9545" align="aligncenter" width="548"]fiction books Courtesy of Goodreads[/caption] This Oprah's Book Club winner follows a family who moves to Georgetown in 1925 for a better life after the tragic drowning of one of their family members. The book follows the stories of a multitude of family members as they grieve and move on. Oprah's Book Club says, "This highly accomplished first novel resonates with ideas, impassioned lyricism, and poignant historical detail as it captures an essential part of the African-American experience in our century." Purchase it here.

Lost in the City | by Edward P. Jones

[caption id="attachment_9546" align="aligncenter" width="503"]fiction books Courtesy of Amazon[/caption] If you want a break from the traditional novel, check out this collection of short stories about the lives of black men and women living in Washington, D.C. Edward P. Jones has won many awards such as the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Critics Award, and more. Lost in the City won the Pen/Hemingway Award for Best First Fiction and was a National Book Award finalist. Jones brings his compelling characters and lyrical prose to this great read. Purchase it here. What do you think? Have you read any of these books? Going to read any? Let us know in the comments below!

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