Who’s your favorite author that other people are NOT reading? The one you want to evangelize for, the one you would run popularity campaigns for? The author that, so far as you’re concerned, everyone should be reading–but that nobody seems to have heard of. You know, not JK Rowling, not Jane Austen, not Hemingway–everybody’s heard of them. The author that you think should be that famous and can’t understand why they’re not…
In general, I would like to see people read more short story collections. As far as authors go, my first pick is Raymond Carver. I was hoping especially that with the new Carver biography and the endorsement of a popular author like Stephen King, he would get more attention. Writers revere him, but he deserves a broader audience because he’s more than just a “writer’s writer.” He’s also an interesting study in the (sometimes harmful) influence an editor can have on an author’s work. I would suggest picking up the new Collected Stories.
Another author I have long admired and rarely see discussed on blogs is Antonya Nelson, who writes both short fiction and novels. Her collection Female Trouble is well-written, entertaining, insightful and accessible. As her novels go, I’d recommend Nobody’s Girl.
Tim O’Brien is another wonderful author who doesn’t seem to get his due. The Things They Carried should make every “Best Book of the Twentieth Century” list there is. It is one of the most telling books about war, and it reveals more than any documentary could hope to about the personal side of military conflict.
And finally, I’ve plugged it before and it can’t hurt to plug it again: Lee Martin’s The Bright Forever, which is both sad and wonderful.
I am off to find new authors for my TBR based on everyone’s suggestions. Happy Thursday!
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