Saturday, May 13, 2006

NY Times Attempts to Get People Talking About Books

I've blogged about this elsewhere already, but the New York Times' recent poll asking writers, critics, and editors to name the best American work of fiction from the past 25 years has been generating a lot of online chatter. Which is the point, I guess.

The Feminist Who Lacks a Funny Bone weighs in at length here, and The Stranger bemoans the establishmentarianism of the picks here.

For what it's worth -- and I'm certain I'm forgetting a few -- here are some of the best American works of fiction I've read that were published in the last quarter century (the first three listed are short story collections):

Emperor of the Air
by Ethan Canin
Birds of America by Lorrie Moore
The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
All the Pretty Horses and The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy
The Sportswriter and Independence Day by Richard Ford
The Risk Pool by Richard Russo
The Brothers K by David James Duncan
Plainsong by Kent Haruf
Underworld by Don DeLillo

That's limiting myself to Americans, like the Times asked, sadly disqualifying Felicia's Journey by William Trevor, It's All Right Now by Charles Chadwick, White Teeth by Zadie Smith, Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle, Atonement by Ian McEwan, and Money by Martin Amis, among others.


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