The Blue Bookcase hosts a "Literary Blog Hop" for blogs "that primarily feature reviews of literary fiction, classic literature, and general literary discussion."
Each week, in addition to hopping around and visiting some terrific book blogs, participants answer a bookish question. This week's question comes from Lisa at bibliophiliac:
What literary title (fiction or non-fiction) do you love that has been under-appreciated? We all know about the latest Dan Brown, and James Patterson isn't hurting for publicity. What quiet masterpiece do you want more readers to know?There are plenty of books I've read that I think deserve a wider audience. David Lodge's How Far Can You Go? (reviewed here), The Assistant by Bernard Malamud (reviewed here), and Play It As It Laysby Joan Didion (reviewed here) are just three I can think of off the top of my head.
But if I had to choose one "quiet masterpiece" to champion, it would be The Road Home by Jim Harrison. In general, Harrison is an under-appreciated American treasure, which he has made a career out of. A good part of his memoir, Off to the Side, is his telling of his life on the fringes of literary society.
The Road Home is a sweeping, multi-generational story in "The Great American Novel" tradition. Set in the sandhills of Nebraska, the book takes up where Harrison's prior novel, Dalva, left off, filling in the story of Dalva's family, the formidable Northridges. There are pioneers, farmers, Indians, artists, lovers, and birdwatchers. There is art, literature, food, wine, love, and death. It is wonderful.
My Top 10 list will always include The Road Home. I've read it twice, including reading it out loud to my husband on a long road trip. I will read it again, for sure.