Thursday, January 21, 2010

Favorite Unknown

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This week, Booking Through Thursday asks:

Who’s your favorite author that other people are NOT reading? The one you want to evangelize for, the one you would run popularity campaigns for? The author that, so far as you’re concerned, everyone should be reading–but that nobody seems to have heard of. You know, not JK Rowling, not Jane Austen, not Hemingway–everybody’s heard of them. The author that you think should be that famous and can’t understand why they’re not…

Since I tend to enjoy books by Mid-Century authors no one reads anymore (besides J.G. and C.S. at Hotch Pot Cafe, Joy, and a couple of other blogger buddies), I have several I could choose from.  Kingsley Amis springs immediately to mind, or even Helen McInnes. Or how about Frances Parkinson Keyes?

But my first choice is -- and probably always will be unless there is a massive seachange in popular taste -- Anthony Powell.

His Dance to the Music of Time is incredible and provides everything I want in a novel -- evolving characters, complex story, and England between the wars. Although published as 12 separate novels, Dance is usually listed as one "book" on "Must Read" lists like the Modern Library's list of Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century, so I fidge a little and always make it my "desert island" book

Powell wrote several other novels, literary criticism, and four volumes of memoirs. I hope to read all his books. And I definitely plan to re-read Dance, likely more than once.

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