We read...

To know we are not alone. ~C.S. Lewis~

Thursday, November 19, 2009

classic characters

BTT is a long running bookish meme. To join in pop over and read the 100's of interesting comments. A meaty question this week…

Do you think any current author is of the same calibre as Dickens, Austen, Bronte, or any of the classic authors? If so, who, and why do you think so? If not, why not? What books from this era might be read 100 years from now?

The meaty bit about this question is defining 'calibre'. Dickens, Austen Bronte, those pedestal gods of ‘good’ literature, cast a long shadow. If by calibre you mean their way with language, the way they engage with and confront their culture and ideology, their status as part of the cannon then no because the old boys club of the cannon is hard to breach.

On the other hand if you’re talking about an author's way with language, engagement with and confrontation of their culture and ideology, and total disregarding the cannon…then yes! of course there are writers today who are up to the challenge.

My picks for those authors in the same league as Bronte, Austen & Dickens? Arundhati Roy, Tracy Chevalier, Margaret Attwood, Geraldine Brooks, Tim Winton, Markus Zusak, Ian McEwan…there’s seven authors just off the top of my head without even stopping to think too hard - wonderful work that will still be read a hundred years from now and hopefully contributing to a new cannon!

What about you, who do you think of as a classically great writer? - go on add to mt TBR I dare you :)


Irishcoda said...

A lot of people are choosing Margaret Atwood. She's on my list too. :) Mine is here

Rose City Reader said...

I included McEwan on my list as well. Along with a couple of others.

Rebecca said...

Maybe we should do some Chevalier or Atwood for book club (both are in the bank)