The era of the 1980s was ripe with neon colors, padded shoulders, and big hair. In the 80s, it was all about the fashion and style that everybody could have fun with.
The 1980s saw a lot of rising trends in the novel writing world as well. Teenagers were getting more involved in novels because they had popular authors such as Stephen King, who introduced them to scary stories and modern horror literature.
In this era, authors used novels to tell their own stories or express their inner thoughts on different topics than what they normally would have done with novels before. Here are some of the best-selling novels from 1980s:
The Color Purple (1982) by Alice Walker
The author of this book is Alice Walker. She became the first black woman to win the Pulitzer Prize. Two years later, Steven Spielberg adapted the script to make a movie. In that film, Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey made their film debuts.
This book is a heart-wrenching tale about one woman’s spiritual journey in the south, and it tells the story of her struggles to escape from the vicious cycle of brutality and humiliation that men bring on her. One day, she finds a woman whom she loves, who is a talented female singer in the blues genre. On a cultural level, this book is one that will remain with black women in America.
What We Talk About When We Talk About Love (1981) by Raymond Carver
Few authors have a better knack for putting into ink what people actually say in the real world than Raymond Carver. You would be hard-pressed to find a better example of his extraordinary ability to talk intelligently than this book, which is what catapulted him into fame.
This work that he wrote sold exceptionally well during his lifetime, and it continues to be a staple of contemporary literary culture. This book is taught widely at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
IT (1986) by Stephen King
You cannot talk about the greatest books of the 1980s without paying tribute to Stephen King. In this novel, Stephen King dreamt up a clown that murders children and feeds from their fear. In that decade he also wrote some more: Cujo, Pet Sematery, Running Man, and many others.
That book really impacted people’s fear of clowns and caused them to become incredibly scary for a whole generation. So, it is no wonder that Pennywise is still generating royalty for Stephen King even over 30 years later. Just recently, two movie adaptations of the book, featuring Bill Skarsgrd, were released, representing the main lead children first in their young years and later as adults in the sequel. This is proof that the book is timeless.
Neuromancer (1984) by William Gibson
In the novel, Gibson predicted that the internet would exist in the future and invented the term cyberspace. He referred to it as a consensual hallucination that all of us are now connected to at all hours of the day. That same author arguably invented cyberpunk, an aesthetic system that has affected the entire genre of sci-fi and fantasy ever since.