Saturday, September 19, 2009

What Author Is Most Deserving Of a Nobel Prize in Literature, Yet Has Never Received One?

Last night, I posed this question to my wife, who is a ravenous consumer of fiction. She responded that she generally doesn't read the elite literature that the Nobel committee esteems, but that the fantasy novelist Garth Nix was among the most underappreciated of writers that sprang immediately to mind (she had one of his novels in her hands at that moment).

How would you answer the question? What contemporary author, in your opinion, is deserving of greater praise than s/he has received?

7 comments:

Hazel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Earl said...

Two names that immediately leap to mind are J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. There are of course others, but it is a glaring omission that the NP Committee has failed to recognize either of these two outstanding authors.

Bendistraw said...

No brainer for me Thomas Pynchon.

bob said...

Tolkien and Lewis are fine picks but their works are more than fifty years old.

My vote would go for Ayaan Hirsi Ali for her book Infidel.The book exposes the dangers and abuses of women through Shariah law. If Islam is to become a religion of peace people need to quit pussy-footing around and call them out. It may be kicking and screaming but Islam especially in the Arab world needs dragged into the 21st century.

Earl said...

If only authors of recent activity are to be considered, then I suggest Ray Bradford or Stephen King.

larry said...

I don't know about fiction publishing globally, but here in the USA you have to really look hard to find literary novels amongst the publications that make the publishers money. I am sure there are contemporary American authors and/or individual works worthy of greater recognition than they have received, but none leap out at me.

I have read Marilynne Robinson's two most recent novels (somewhat connected), "Gilead," and "Home." The first novel, Gilead, won her a Pulizter (2005). Not sure how the second one has been received, but I personally liked it better, as it was a little more traditional novel with a direct plot. Gilead is okay - I can see why it was considered for literary awards, but just not my cup of tea.

I recently read a memoir on the discipline of running by Japanese author/novelist Haruki Murakami, and I understand he was won much critical acclaim. I would like to attempt one of his novels and see how I like it.

One I absolutely did not like was John Updike. I know he was much acclaimed, but as I read "Witches of Eastwick" earlier this year, I found I couldn't stand it. What a waste of my time, but now I am the wiser for it.

John said...

Hmm. I didn't enjoy Tolkein, but as he invented an entire genre, I think that one could make a good case for him.