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Wilfred Frost: In honor of Labor Day weekend, let’s set out our list of the country’s best writers, and the books they’re known for.
Out of this alphabetical list, I will lead off with novelist Elizabeth Strout, who wrote The Pastoralist, Olive Kitteridge, and Everybody’s All-American. She has been nominated for the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize, and the National Book Critics Circle Award.
Fiction is much more than lists of book titles. Inevitably, some of the best-known titles on the list will feature family members of the authors. One of the greatest writers of the 20th century, John Steinbeck, had his great-uncle Franco Martella write Strawberry Fields Forever. Roberto Bolaño said of Bolaño: “He wrote everything about his family.”
There is a series of remarkable titles in the biography section: Albert Camus, Henry Miller, Emile Zola, and more.
In the essay section, I leave Paul Krugman out, which reflects his ability to write funny and terrible pieces at the same time. (Ouch.) Meir Litvak, Juan Martínez Rodriguez, Vladimir Nabokov, and Ernest Hemingway all draw from their own work.
I will also leave out novellas that are short stories, such as Edward Gorey’s Pickles and Stickers, and the delightful Sherlock Holmes e-book book Seasons of Love from Talaat Mansour. There is also the literary rendition of the saga of the Sopranos, Shine, the novel that has endured long after the show has gone off the air.
For those who haven’t heard about these authors or the books that are known to have been written by them, you can find lists of the best-known authors on our sister site, BookShots. We’d love for you to have a listen!
Did I miss any? What are you favorites? Why are they included?
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