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John Self 6th Aug 2008 15:38

Your Top Ten Authors
There are various individual top ten books threads from years back further down the Top Tens forum, but I couldn't see a place for us to put our favourite authors in the same place for easy reference and discussion. Plus we have lots of newer members who wouldn't have contributed to earlier lists.

I've put very little thought into my list other than those writers who are on my mind right now. I suppose what they all have in common is that enough (even if not all) of their books have given me high levels of reading pleasure, that I would trust, and seek out, more or less anything with their name on it.

No particular order.
  • Martin Amis
  • James Salter
  • Philip Roth
  • Tobias Wolff
  • Brian Moore
  • Graham Greene
  • Patrick McGrath
  • Jeanette Winterson
  • Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Patricia Highsmith
No doubt others will remind me of those writers I've praised wildly and whose names I've forgotten to add. Already I am regretting the absence of Magnus Mills...

EDIT: And my list is very male-dominated and anglocentric.

bill 6th Aug 2008 15:59

Re: Your Top Ten Authors
Okay, then...

Martin Amis
Kingsley Amis
Tobias Wolff
Cormac McCarthy
Richard Price
David Mamet
Steven Millhauser
Donald E. Westlake
Thomas Ligotti

...That's only nine, isn't it? This was very difficult. There are a lot of writers I've read who have written one novel I would regard as a favorite, but whose other books come it at varying levels of success. Ishiguro, McEwan, McGrath, Derek Robinson, etc. Then there are writers whose work I've loved so far, but there's still so much more to read: Oates, Shirley Jackson, Robert Aickman...

Too many to name, and justify their exclusion, so I'll stop here.

kirsty 6th Aug 2008 17:07

Re: Your Top Ten Authors
Gosh, again, this is a hard one. This is also off the top of my head (and therefore in a weird way quite reliable as I've not had time to tweak... does that make sense?)

No particular order:
  • Virginia Woolf
  • Sarah Waters
  • Ali Smith
  • Brontes (all of them, I'm lumping them together)
  • Alasdair Gray
  • Margaret Atwood
  • Jonathan Coe (although his early novels did nothing for me, later ones have more than made up for it)
  • Michel Faber
  • Elaine Showalter
  • Sylvia Plath
Fairly woman-heavy, but I doubt that comes as much of a surprise. 8)

EDIT: This doesn't include much of my beloved Victorian fiction, mostly because I haven't read enough by all the authors to give them a space of a Favourite Authors lists. Favourite individual novels, yes, but not authors until I've read more.

EDIT EDIT: Although Charles Dickens should have been on the author list.

Sophronisba 6th Aug 2008 17:27

Re: Your Top Ten Authors
This is tough.

Sarah Waters
Charles Dickens
E. M. Forster
Joyce Carol Oates
Margaret Atwood
Alice Munro
Cynthia Ozick
Ali Smith
David Mitchell
Robertson Davies

But those were just off the top of my head and there's so many I've left off. Jane Austen, the Brontes, Robert Frost, Anne Tyler, George Eliot, etc., etc.

BeccaK 6th Aug 2008 17:34

Re: Your Top Ten Authors
It's not easy, is it? As soon as I add an author to the list I have to ask myself why I've not read more of their work. The following is fairly mutable, therefore, and is made up of

Ali Smith
Thomas Hardy

Sarah Waters
Virginia Woolf
Ian McEwan
Umberto Eco
Kazuo Ishiguro

I'll endeavour to update the list when I'm out of my current phase of reading (mostly) utter rubbish...

I love reading other people's lists; I feel that if I mashed up Kirsty and JS's lists I'd be pretty happy with the outcome.

Graham Greene would certainly be on my list, except that I read most of his novels as a 17-year-old, and can't remember much about them - time for a reevaluation, perhaps. And I seem to have decided I don't like the Amises, and that opinion is only based on a reading of one novel by either: Lucky Jim.

kirsty 6th Aug 2008 17:48

Re: Your Top Ten Authors
EM Forster! Why did I forget him? Gah. Him too.

gil 6th Aug 2008 19:36

Re: Your Top Ten Authors

William Gibson
David Mitchell
Iain (M) Banks
Patrick O'Brian
Arthur Ransome
Bruce Sterling
Jack Vance
Martin Amis
Nikos Kazantzakis
Haruki Murakami

Four of these being deceased, there is nothing new from them.

Lizzy Siddal 6th Aug 2008 20:06

Re: Your Top Ten Authors
Not so easy ... so from the top of my head

Leo Tolstoy
Barry Unsworth
Graham Greene
Brian Moore
Evelyn Waugh
Edith Wharton
Jane Austen
Theodor Storm
Carol Shields
Fred Vargas

with honourable mentions to ... no, don't go there. I'll be here all night!

Daveybot 6th Aug 2008 21:47

Re: Your Top Ten Authors
Gah! Tricksome tricksome. I think I'll take BeccaK's approach but not even get as far as ten:

Douglas Adams
William Gibson
AA Milne
P.G. Wodehouse

David Mitchell
Dan Brown*
*Actually, I just wonder what might happen to me for saying this - I bet Amner has his shaking fist poised over the 'smite' key even now... Hee hee!

John Self 6th Aug 2008 21:53

Re: Your Top Ten Authors
Uh-oh Daveybot - you've been infected with The Cheese! Was it something you said?

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