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    Thursday, May 11, 2006

    What Is the Best Work of American Fiction of the Last 25 Years?

    Oh please.

    THE WINNER:

    Beloved
    Toni Morrison
    (1987)

    THE RUNNERS-UP:

    Underworld
    Don DeLillo
    (1997)

    Blood Meridian
    Cormac McCarthy
    (1985)

    Rabbit Angstrom: The Four Novels
    John Updike
    (1995)

    American Pastoral
    Philip Roth
    (1997)

    Why can't we all just realize that Beloved is far from being Toni Morrison's best novel?

    And isn't there something a little strange about the whole list being old white guys, but the *winner* is a black woman?

    And the others with multiple nominations (see the link) are ridiculous. I mean, I love Delillo's The Body Artist with a passion, adore Lee Harvey Oswald and am captivated by the Kennedy assasination, but it's a mediocre novel. And I say that even with all the queer content. It's just ... eh.

    I can think of about forty novels written in the last 25 years that are far better than those on this list, just off the top of my head.

    2 Comments:

    Anonymous didi said...

    I'm ashamed to say that I haven't read a lot of the other novels listed in that article. I have read Beloved though - more than once.

    Which of Morrison's novels do you consider her best?

    1:10 PM  
    Blogger EL said...

    Didi,

    Don't worry about not having read these books. My point was sort of that the bulk of them were mediocre and only on the list because of the stature of their writers.

    As far as the great Ms. Morrison goes, that's a toughie, but I think I'd have to say Jazz is her best writing. Sula is rather incredible, but the aesthetic exhiliration of reading Jazz is something only rarely replicated in my life. I highly, highly recommend it.

    10:44 AM  

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