Last week, I asked you about your favorite poets. So, this week, it seemed like a good idea to ask:
Who are your favorite novelists?
Here are a few of mine. Note: to limit my list, I’ve left off a few writers who seem to be on everyone’s favorite novelist list. I’ve also tried to identify writers whom I will read, no matter what they write. That is, if they have a new book out, I’m buying it and reading it, no questions asked.
Michael Chabon: If you’ve only read his famously precocious debut novel, Wonder Boys, you’ve really missed his remarkable development as a writer. Chabon has embraced two aspects of his own personal identity – his Jewishness and his love for “genre” fiction – to create a series of novels that delve into the experience of American life through the lens of various genres. See my review of The Yiddish Policemen’s Union for more.
Wallce Stegner: I’m not sure if someone with the literary pedigree of Stegner can really be called “underrated,” but I hear his name mentioned much less often than other writers of his generation when great American novelists are being named off. In terms of pure writing, I’ve not encountered anyone who can write character and setting like Stegner.
Ursula K. Le Guin: Le Guin’s “soft” science fiction gets to the very reasons I enjoy science fiction & fantasy – she uses speculation to explore what it means to be human. Only in the past couple of years have a realized how much I enjoy her novels.
Robert V. S. Redick: A new writer, with only three published novels so far, Redick has written what I’ve called my favorite contemporary fantasy series. (Since then, Game of Thrones may have displaced it, but it’s still number two.) Redick’s writing is good, and he avoids many of the common tropes one finds in fantasy.
Enough about my tastes. Who are YOUR favorite novelists?