Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The greatest living British writer?

The Book Magazine provides an opportunity to vote for the person whom you consider to be the greatest living British writer (link from Bookslut).

As usual with such things, the list is a bit of a nonsense. If I've counted right, there are 58 names on it.

Nine of those 58 are names which don't even ring the faintest bell with me. I didn't even know they were writers.

I have read, in the sense of at least dipped into (and often heaved into a far corner of the room), books by 21 of the names.

And there are only five writers listed whose next book I would definitely want to read.

None of which stopped me voting, of course. And I shall certainly complain when the wrong person is declared the winner.


Anonymous said...

Don't be so shy. Who are the nine names you've not heard of and who are your favourites? In my anonymous honesty, I'm happy to admit that Jonathan Coe gets my vote

Stephen said...

There's only one I didn't recognise (he turns out to be a Scottish poet and short story writer - I don't read much poetry and even less in the way of short stories).

But at least one name is missing, surely - Iain Sinclair - and I would argue that Michael Moorcock, Adam Thorpe and even Lawrence Norfolk have a better case than quite a few of the names on the list.

I'll hold off voting in case they are added, the way Philip Pullman and Iain Banks have been.

(Word verification is adcac, but I'd rather not.)

Anonymous said...

Only 2 I didn't recognise: Morpurgo and Lanchester....
however...there are a good many names missing....