As per Buddy's request--

I posted about some of the great writers that are still plugging away in their twilight years (I forgot to add Larry McMurtry to that list too); now, what about the other end of the spectrum?

Working in a bookstore exposes me to tons of fresh literary faces. And as good as some of them are, not all are bound for canonical inclusion. I've tried to think of a few writers that are either in their 20s or 30s that've either made an impact or will probably make an impact eventually.

But some stand out. I'm trying to go about this with some forethought, but these names come to mind:
-China Mieville--Sci-fi/fantasy author, probably best described as "weird fiction." I read "Perdido Street Station" and was amazed. Yes, it's about a fourth too long and probably overambitious, but the guy can write. I'm thinking he'll probably have a cross-over hit within the next ten years, something on the level of Ray Bradbury's more classic work. Mieville, if anything, strikes me as a "steampunk Herman Melville."

-Dave Eggers--He's polarizing, that's for sure; people either love or hate him. I think he's fantastic. He treats the written language like a roller coaster. And he's always involved in about 10 other projects. "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius" is pretty solid; if it remains as his pinnacle...well, that remains to be seen.

-Zadie Smith--I've not read her, but she has really gotten some amazing reception. "On Beauty" was one of the best reviewed books of...what, the last ten years?

There are probably many more. To be honest, most writers don't get their start until they're in their late 20s at least. Buddy wanted to know where all of the promising young authors are; they're coming, I'm sure. But come to think of it, there are countless middle-aged authors that WILL be remembered--in 20 years or so, many of these authors will see their novels become the dread of high school students and college freshmen. People from every possible genre. Talented people like Susanna Clarke, Margeret Atwood, Mark Haddon, Jeffrey Eugenides, Paul Auster, Michael Chabon, Neil Gaimon, Neal Stephenson (who really, really rocks, by the way), Jhumpa Lahiri, Marilynne Robinson, Jonathan Franzen, Ian McEwan, Michael Ondaatje, and...well, there are plenty more.

posted, with grace and poise, by Jason @ 9/28/2006 11:42:00 PM,


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