Novels written in diary format give the reader an intimate relationship with the narrator, as they reflect on their experiences of an event, a day or a lifetime. By nature one sided and possibly unreliable, diary novels would appeal to readers who are drawn to a book by rich character development.
Classic examples would be Dracula and Flowers for Algernon.
Here are some examples of recently published novels written in a diary format:
The Black Stiletto: secrets and lies: the 4th diary — 1961: a novel by Raymond Benson
“It is 1961 in the fourth book of the Black Stiletto series. Judy, the Stiletto, meets Leo, a charismatic man who convinces her to move to Los Angeles when she is run out of New York by increasingly hazardous police heat. But soon Judy suspects that Leo is not the white knight she first thought. Leo, who has connections with the West Coast mobs, has plenty of skeletons in his closet. His mysterious sister, Christina, who once served time for armed robbery, could also be a threat to the Stiletto’s new life in California. Meanwhile, in the present, Alzheimer’s-stricken Judy takes a turn for the worse as Martin comes to grips with the imminent end of his mother’s life. In a novel bristling with mysteries, secrets, and lies, the Black Stiletto saga takes a dark left turn into even more treacherous territory.” publisher
Bridget Jones: mad about the boy by Helen Fielding
“When Helen Fielding first wrote Bridget Jones’ Diary, charting the life of a 30-something singleton in London in the 1990s, she introduced readers to one of the most beloved characters in modern literature. With her hotly anticipated third installment, Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, Fielding introduces us to a whole new enticing phase of Bridget’s life set in contemporary London, including the challenges of maintaining sex appeal as the years roll by and the nightmare of drunken texting, the skinny jean, the disastrous e-mail cc, total lack of twitter followers, and TVs that need 90 buttons and three remotes to simply turn on. ” publisher
Maya’s Notebook: a novel by Isabel Allende
“To escape a life of drugs, crime and prostitution, nineteen-yearold Maya Vidal flees California to a remote island off the coast of Chile. There, in the company of a torture survivor, a lame dog and other unforgettable characters, Maya writes her story, which includes pursuit by a gang of assassins, the police, the FBI and Interpol. In the process, she unveils a terrible family secret, comes to understand the meaning of love and loyalty and initiates the greatest adventure of her life: the journey into her own soul.” publisher
Oh Dear Silvia by Dawn French
“Silvia Shute has always done exactly what she wants. But after a fall from a balcony, her life has suddenly, shockingly stopped. Now she’s unconscious in a hospital bed, at the mercy of the mad friends and crazy relatives who have come to visit. Her beleaguered ex-husband, her newly independent daughter, her West Indian nurse, her bohemian sister, her best friend, her enthusiastic housekeeper, and others all share a piece of their collective mind with the complex woman—the bad mother, the cherished sister, the selfish wife, the matchless lover, the egotist, the martyr—they think they know. And Silvia can’t talk back. As she lies there, captive to the beloveds, the babblers, and the stark-raving bonkers who alternate at her bedside, the dark and terrible secret she has been hiding for years begins to emerge. “ publisher
Against the Wind by Madeleine Gagnon
“From the moment he takes drastic action to defend his adoptive mother from violent sexual assault, Joseph finds himself retreating into an increasingly abstract world where he must confront what he calls his “visions.” In reaction to his indistinct trauma, Joseph sets out to reconcile the contradictory themes in his life, including abandonment, madness, love, and death, as the reader experiences, through letters and journal entries, the creation and development of anartist “in his own words.” publisher
Cabbagetown diary: a documentary by Juan Butler
“The novel’s rowdy concoction of grit and violence and rooming-house sleaze had a strongly polarizing effect on its readers. Many admired the frankness of Butler’s depiction of a sordid environment, and others deplored the obscenity of the language and the dangerous and careless ways in which his characters behave, bent as they are on downward self-transcendence. But Cabbagetown Diary was undeniably a promising debut by a young writer whose brash tone and pungent subject matter were unique in Canadian writing at that time. The novel takes the form of a diary written by a disaffected young Toronto bartender, Michael, over the course of his four-month liaison with Terry, a naive teenager who is new to the city. “publisher