I Thought It’s a Common Possession Novel: Unveiling the Intricacies of a Popular Literary Genre

When it comes to literature, there are countless genres that captivate readers around the world. From romance to mystery, each genre offers a unique experience and a chance to delve into different worlds. One such genre that has gained immense popularity in recent years is the “common possession novel.” In this article, we will explore the intricacies of this genre, its defining characteristics, and why it has become a favorite among readers.

What is a Common Possession Novel?

A common possession novel, also known as a “shared possession novel,” is a subgenre of literature that revolves around the concept of shared ownership or communal living. These novels often depict a group of individuals who come together to share a common space or possession, such as a house, apartment, or even a piece of land. The narrative typically explores the dynamics, conflicts, and relationships that arise within this shared space.

One of the key elements of a common possession novel is the emphasis on community and the exploration of human connections. These novels delve into the complexities of living in close proximity to others, highlighting the challenges and rewards that come with communal living. The characters in these novels often have diverse backgrounds, personalities, and motivations, which adds depth and intrigue to the story.

The Rise of the Common Possession Novel

In recent years, the common possession novel has experienced a surge in popularity among readers. This can be attributed to several factors:

  • Escapism: In a world that often feels disconnected and individualistic, common possession novels offer readers an escape into a world where community and shared experiences take center stage. These novels provide a sense of belonging and allow readers to imagine a different way of living.
  • Exploration of Relationships: Common possession novels delve deep into the intricacies of human relationships. By exploring the dynamics between characters who share a common space, these novels offer readers a chance to reflect on their own relationships and gain insights into the complexities of human interaction.
  • Social Commentary: Many common possession novels also serve as a platform for social commentary. By depicting characters from diverse backgrounds and exploring the challenges they face within the shared space, these novels shed light on issues such as inequality, prejudice, and the importance of empathy.

Examples of Common Possession Novels

To better understand the common possession novel genre, let’s explore some notable examples:

1. “The Group” by Mary McCarthy

“The Group” follows the lives of eight women who graduate from Vassar College in the 1930s and form a close-knit circle. The novel explores their individual struggles, relationships, and the challenges they face as they navigate adulthood together. McCarthy’s work is considered a classic in the common possession genre, as it beautifully captures the complexities of female friendships and the shared experiences of a group of women.

2. “The Interestings” by Meg Wolitzer

In “The Interestings,” Wolitzer tells the story of a group of friends who meet at a summer camp for the arts in the 1970s. The novel follows their lives over several decades, exploring their successes, failures, and the enduring bond they share. Wolitzer’s work delves into themes of envy, talent, and the ways in which friendships evolve over time.

3. “The Ensemble” by Aja Gabel

“The Ensemble” centers around the lives of four musicians who form a string quartet. The novel explores their individual aspirations, conflicts, and the challenges they face as they strive for success in the competitive world of classical music. Gabel’s work beautifully captures the complexities of artistic collaboration and the sacrifices required to pursue one’s passion.


1. What makes a common possession novel different from other genres?

A common possession novel stands out from other genres due to its focus on communal living and shared ownership. While other genres may touch upon relationships and community, the common possession novel places these elements at the forefront of the narrative.

2. Are common possession novels limited to specific settings?

No, common possession novels can be set in various locations and time periods. They can revolve around shared houses, apartments, communes, or even virtual spaces. The key aspect is the exploration of communal living and the dynamics that arise within these shared spaces.

3. What are some common themes explored in common possession novels?

Common possession novels often explore themes such as friendship, love, identity, conflict, and personal growth. They also touch upon broader societal issues, including inequality, prejudice, and the importance of empathy.

4. Can you recommend any other common possession novels?

Absolutely! Here are a few more notable common possession novels:

  • “The Secret History” by Donna Tartt
  • “The House of Mirth” by Edith Wharton
  • “The Girls” by Emma Cline
  • “The Interestings” by Meg Wolitzer
  • “The Ensemble” by Aja Gabel

5. Why do readers find common possession novels so compelling?

Readers are drawn to common possession novels because they offer a unique perspective on human relationships and the complexities of communal living. These novels provide a sense of escapism, allow for introspection, and often serve as a platform for social commentary. The exploration of diverse characters and their interactions within a shared space creates a rich and engaging reading experience.


The common possession novel genre has captivated readers with its exploration of communal living, human relationships, and social commentary. Through the lens of shared ownership, these novels offer readers an escape into a world where community takes center stage. By delving into the intricacies of characters’ lives within a shared space, common possession novels provide valuable insights into the complexities of human interaction and the importance of empathy. Whether set in the past, present, or future, these novels continue to resonate with readers, offering a unique and compelling reading experience.

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Kavya Patel
Kavya Patel
Kavya Patеl is an еxpеriеncеd tеch writеr and AI fan focusing on natural languagе procеssing and convеrsational AI. With a computational linguistics and machinе lеarning background, Kavya has contributеd to rising NLP applications.

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