The cultural news website Flavorwire put out this interesting article a few days ago, making an attempt to predict what contemporary authors will still be read in 100 years. It was an interesting selection, with 6 of the 10 writers included in our book lists.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez – I can’t think of a recommended reading list I have come across that didn’t include him. Both 100 Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera were requested by numerous students and are on our book list.
Haruki Murakami – Praised by the Guardian Newspaper as “among the world’s greatest living novelists”. He was not included any reading lists I consulted, nor in any requests from students or teachers, and as such not on our book list. I would definitely include some of his works, especially Norwegian Wood, in a secondary donation.
Cormac McCarthy – Requested by the boys of St. Patricks, No Country For Old Men and The Road were both added to the book list.
Stephen King – Two of his books made our reading list: On Writing and The Stand, both taken from other recommended reading lists.
Lydia Davis – Known as a “writers’ writer”, her short stories are known internationally. Interestingly, we didn’t include any short stories to the book list, aside from those by African writers. Definitely one to consider for a second donation in the future.
J.K. Rowling – A given. Requested by an enormous amount of students. The only reason we are aren’t giving more than two copies of each book is that the school already had sets. There is no doubt about it though, she got kids reading.
Toni Morrison – Her book Beloved, repeatedly requested by students and thus on our book list, was declared “the single best work of American fiction published in the last 25 years”. Also on our list are A Mercy, Paradise, Playing in the Dark, Song of Solomon, and Sula.
Phillip Roth – Not on our reading list although I think we will consider adding Goodbye, Columbus.
Mario Vargas Llosa – Not on our reading list, although he won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2010. Perhaps a writer we should consider adding.
Doris Lessing – A Zimbabwean-Brit and Nobel Prize Winner, described as an “absurdly charming grump”, she was banned from South Africa and Rhodesia after vocally opposing apartheid and nuclear arms. One of her books Memoirs of a Survivor was added the the list.