Writers most important to me, then and now

Then

Long, long ago, when I was finishing high school the (then-) living writers who were important to me, whose new work I’d seek out were

 

John Cheever (Falconer)

Vladimir Nabokov (Invitation to a Beheading)

Katherine Anne Porter (Pale Horse, Pale Rider; Noon Wine)

Philip Roth (Goodbye Columbus)

Jean-Paul Sartre (The Flies)

Mishima Yukio (After the Banquet)

Gore Vidal (Burrr)

Pär Lagerkvist (The Death of Ahasuerus)

Anthony Burgess (A Clockwork Orange)

John O’Hara (Pal Joey)

Walker Percy (The Moviegoer)

 

The last three are mostly forgotten (by others) now, but not IMO reprehensible choices. Only one of those on this list  is still living, and he is retired.

 

I made another list in 2000 with the now-dead Penelope Fitzgerald, Michel Tournier, Muriel Spark, Mary Lee Settle, plus the still living (in 2018) Matthew Stadler, Hanif Kureishi,   Alan Hollinghurst, and Mark Salzman, and some writers who are also on my current list.

Now

Michael Ondatjee (Coming Through Slaughter)

Edmund White (Nocturnes for the King of Naples)

Andrew Sean Greer (Less)

Peter Cameron (The City of Your Final Destination)

Josip Novakovich (April Fool’s Day)

Louise Erdrich (The Master Butcher’s Singing Club)

Joan Silber (Fools)

Elizabeth Spencer (The Salt Line)

Chang-Rae Lee (Native Speaker)

Alan Gurganus (Adult Art)

Rabih Almeddine (KoolAIDS)

André Aciman (Call Me by Your Name)

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