As we all know, writers are readers. While it’s incredibly helpful (and fun) to read across all boundaries, sometimes reading the crème de la crème can teach you a few tricks.
My list of top fifteen authors is subjective. I can’t imagine how a list like this couldn’t be. Here goes:
1. Flannery O’Connor – O’Connor’s work makes you feel uncomfortable. She was completely uncompromising.
2. Raymond Carver – I don’t believe that any writer expressed the mundane better than Carver.
3. Carson McCullers – The sensitivity in which McCullers portrayed outsiders in the Southern milieu remains incredibly powerful.
4. Junot Diaz – No author writes better prose than Diaz. No author can grab your attention better than him. I think he’s the best writer alive.
5. Misti Rainwater-Lites – You probably haven’t heard of her, but in a better world, you would have. She’s only the best writer in the underground presses.
6. Philip Roth – Roth details the American Jewish experience in rich detail. No author writes more vivid characters.
7. Jennifer Egan – Egan is the total package. Her work is futuristic and mechanical, almost post-narrative, yet coherent and captivating.
8. Kent Haruf – “Country” writing at its finest. Haruf is a master of “conservative” lit.
9. Jeffrey Eugenides – Eugenides is an ambitious storyteller. Middlesex may just be the best work of American fiction ever penned.
10. Fyodor Dostoevsky – The soul of Russia, for better or worse. Dostoevsky was a true existentialist.
11. Michael Chabon – Chabon is perhaps the most “weighty” of modern writers.
12. Zadie Smith – Smith is sharp. She can give Chabon a real challenge for his title.
13. Jonathan Lethem – As a Brooklyn-born writer, I hold a special affinity for Jonathan Lethem. I wish I had written The Fortress of Solitude.
14. Mikhail Bulgakov – I’m obviously partial to the Russians. Master and Margarita is a fierce book.
15. Richard Russo – Russo writes without flourish better than almost anyone.
Who are some of your favorite authors? Why not make a post of your own and comment below with a link to your blog? You could even join our conversation about this on our Facebook group.