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Greatest Living Author? - Page 6

post #76 of 91
[quote=lawyerdad;666350]Beloved is a powerful novel. The other Morrison stuff I've read was just ok.
QUOTE]
^
My opinion is that this will be the general consensus someday. I mean, I definitely think Morrison is a good writer; Beloved (as you said) is very powerful and a very innovative take on the theme of slavery. I just don't believe that she's as amazingly wonderful as everybody makes her out to be, both "critics" and academics, nor does her entire body of work warrant the number of awards and prizes she's received. I think a lot of it is based on politics and not necessarily on quality.
post #77 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by lawyerdad View Post
Beloved is a powerful novel. The other Morrison stuff I've read was just ok.
+1 on "The Known World".

She lectured at Cal when I was studying English (or what's now known as "Olde English") there. She is a very charismatic person, which for a living author doesn't hurt, either.

Which reminds me that I'd probably put Maxine Hong Kingston (who also taught at Cal, albeit not until after the undergraduate school gave me the boot) in the same category. One really fantastic book, an overall body of work that isn't (at least not yet) of the same level, and a bump from politics and personal charm.
post #78 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by lawyerdad View Post
She is a very charismatic person, which for a living author doesn't hurt, either.

Very true. A few people mentioned J.M. Coetzee for their list, who taught one semester a year at my university. I had read his work and found him brilliant to read... so wasn't I disappointed to find him incredibly dull in person (so dull I wished I hadn't ever tried to meet him).
post #79 of 91
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Originally Posted by lawyerdad View Post


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Originally Posted by rach2jlc View Post

^...and no Toni Morrison???


Actually, I'm happy to see people have been honest and have left her out. While I think she is a very good writer, I don't think she's the greatest thing since sliced bread as some try to make her out to be. Anybody who teaches english at a university will tell you that the PC patrol makes it almost a requirement that you have to heap the praises onto Morrison to no end. Saying otherwise gets you put on the suspect list (especially if you are a white male).



Jones' "The Known World," on the other hand, is really quite an achievement. It's his first novel, so I look forward to seeing where he goes next, but already out of the gate I think he's eclipsed Morrison. Just my opinion, of ocurse...





Beloved is a powerful novel. The other Morrison stuff I've read was just ok.

+1 on "The Known World".

This was an excellent thread. I really don't know who the greatest living author is, I have not read many of the authors mentioned yet. I still working through the dead greats.
I enjoyed Songs of Solomon more, and I think time will treat it better, than Beloved, which I liked a good deal also.
post #80 of 91

This is tough. After a quick glance at my bookshelf, I'd have to say: Thomas Pynchon, Cormac Mccarthy and Haruki Murakami. I think the works of all three will stand the test of time.

post #81 of 91
Louis Ferdinand Destouches better known as Louis Ferdinand Celine...

Camus.

I have missed the living bit...

Sorry for being a dickhead...

Gunter Grass..

Milan Kundera

Yves Bonnefoy
post #82 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by California Dreamer View Post

I'm struck at the lack of female writers on these lists, other than Isabel Allende. What about the likes of E. Annie Proulx, Anita Brookner, Pat Barker, Margaret Attwood, Anne Tyler, Alice Munro, etc?

Hard to say - I think Jane Gardam is a phenomenal novelist, but top tier? Hard for me to say.

I've always preferred Kazuo Ishiguro's works over some of the other authors listed here. I've read Banville's the Sea and liked it quite a bit as well, but just that one novel. McCarthy is pretty great, but really, to me, is a bit limited in expression.
post #83 of 91
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpeirpont View Post

This was an excellent thread. I really don't know who the greatest living author is, I have not read many of the authors mentioned yet. I still working through the dead greats.
I enjoyed Songs of Solomon more, and I think time will treat it better, than Beloved, which I liked a good deal also.

Glad you bumped this, it was fun rereading. And I completely agree with your re SOS.

Luckily none of my picks have died yet, despite all being old a fuck.

Big thanks to Lawyerdad for turning me on to George Saunders, who is probably the best thing since sliced bread.
post #84 of 91

Gabriel García Márquez

post #85 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edgein View Post

Gabriel García Márquez

Good choice..

Le Clezio..
post #86 of 91
As my location indicates, I'm a HUGE McCarthy fan. Definitely my pick, but writing is art, so it's at least half subjective.
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Originally Posted by novalis View Post

In addition to Marquez:

VS Naipaul

Naipaul is still alive? WTF? Damn, he's only 79. I dunno why, thought he would be in his mid-nineties. Wouldn't put him in my top ten, but anyway....
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Originally Posted by Manny Calavera View Post


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Originally Posted by countdemoney View Post

Iain M. Banks

Harlan Ellison





Fuck that guy.

This. I like some of his stories, but that guy takes himself way too seriously. And his writing is so personalized, it's hard to separate the uber-asshole you see in interviews from the uber-asshole who writes books. Winds up diminishing the experience.
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Originally Posted by Thomas View Post


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Originally Posted by lawyerdad View Post

People who don't have a sufficiently consistent track record to contend for "best living author", but the brilliance of whose best work ranks warrants an honorable mention would include (...), Salman Rushdie, maybe TC Boyle.

(...)

Nabokov, Calvino, and Gaddis would be high on my list of greatest living authors, if only they weren't dead.





To this list I would add only Christopher Moore, my favorite of all favorites for satire/parody.
.

Love Christopher Moore. His facebook feed is pretty entertaining.
post #87 of 91
Cormac Mcarthy sucks. Anyone. Who writes. In a 'realistic' way. Like this. Sucks.
post #88 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by FLMountainMan View Post

(...)
Love Christopher Moore. His facebook feed is pretty entertaining.

I am going to have to check that out.
post #89 of 91
Jean-Louis Schefer
post #90 of 91
I don't know about pronouncing someone as "Greatest Living Author", but my favorite is Neal Stephenson.
Edited by Steve Smith - 4/29/12 at 4:52am
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