My Top Fifteen Authors

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?

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