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Floorboard George

Are these Britains best 20 novelists under 40?

I'm not sure if this has been previously posted but thought i'd see what peoples opinions are on here.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/cultur...s-best-20-novelists-under-40.html

As the article points out it was inspired by the original story from The New Yorker
http://www.newyorker.com/fiction/20-under-40/writers-q-and-a

I'll be honest and admit that I haven't read any of these authors (from either list) but thought it may be of interest to some, also the discussion may inspire me to sample some, I am tempted to try...

5 Steven Hall (b 1975) His debut novel, The Raw Shark Texts (2007) – about a man who loses his memory and tries to create a new identity for himself – unusually lived up to his publisher’s hype.
MikeAlx

I've not read many of them, but am quite surprised Samantha Harvey's not on the list, given the prizes and shortlistings her debut novel achieved last year.
Hector

The only author I've read is Jonathan Safran Foer (US list). Two of his: "Everything Is Illuminated" as well as "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close". Interesting prospect if a little gimmicky.

I'm sure I read about this in the paper the other week and David Eggers was in the list. Perhaps my memory is playing tricks on me again.
Caro

One of the articles said David Eggers just missed out because he is over 40.

I seem to have only read one of these authors - Chimamanda Adichie (I have trouble enough with two of her names so don't try to add the middle one).  I absolutely loved Half of a Yellow Sun, not quite so much Purple Hibiscus though it was good too.  But someone (Freyda?) here didn't like it.  

But in general I haven't even heard of these authors let alone read them.

Cheers, Caro.
Green Jay

MikeAlx wrote:
I've not read many of them, but am quite surprised Samantha Harvey's not on the list, given the prizes and shortlistings her debut novel achieved last year.


Err...see my comments in June Jollys. Have you read her book?
Evie

Mike wrote about it recently - I knew when he did that someone else had read it, but I couldn't remember who!
Green Jay

Caro wrote:


I seem to have only read one of these authors - Chimamanda Adichie (I have trouble enough with two of her names so don't try to add the middle one).  I absolutely loved Half of a Yellow Sun, not quite so much Purple Hibiscus though it was good too.  But someone (Freyda?) here didn't like it.  

Cheers, Caro.


It was me who wrote a post in June Jollys - I don't know if others have. I said it was fine, but did not inspire me to read more of her writing.

I have not read many of the British writers, some I've never even heard of, which feels bad. Ross Raisin got a bit of a bashing on A Good Read. I've picked up the novel before but it does not appeal to me. I've read one Dan Rhodes and disliked it. I don't like writers who are into being tricksy and clever-clever; I want more sincerity than that. The genius of Zadie Smith passes me by, feels like a bit of a band-wagon, though her critical writing is better. Likewise, I didn't much care for Catherine ..oH, I've forgotten her name and I'll lose this post if I go to look it up...who wrote about a shopping mall. I must sound like a grumpy old woman. I'm just waiting to be actually impressed by any of these much-vaunted younger authors. But I will follow up some of the unknown-to-me ones.

I suppose i'm in the intrinsically vulgar camp when it comes to lists, like one of the commentators quoted in the article. Past Granta lists claim to have spotted rising stars, but if they also spotted -as admitted - others who went off form or never reached much form, what's so speacial about their powers of star-spotting? They couldnt pick all duffers, so getting a few right doesn't count for much.

I wonder if these lists boost some authors to greater confidence and feats of writing, but have an adverse effect on others, who then struggle to capture that potential?
Chibiabos83

Of that list there are a few I'm interested in trying, among them Ross Raisin, in spite of his ignominious appearance on A Good Read, and Paul Murray, who as one of the commenters on the Telegraph article points out is actually Irish, not British. John Self wrote a good review of Skippy Dies on his blog: http://theasylum.wordpress.com/2010/02/04/paul-murray-skippy-dies/
MikeAlx

Green Jay wrote:
MikeAlx wrote:
I've not read many of them, but am quite surprised Samantha Harvey's not on the list, given the prizes and shortlistings her debut novel achieved last year.


Err...see my comments in June Jollys. Have you read her book?

Yes, I commented on it somewhere here. I didn't share your objections about the humourless tone; in fact I thought there was a sort of humour in Jake's resolute earnestness. I found it a very strong debut indeed, and look forward to seeing what she does next.
MikeAlx

My comments on The Wilderness:

http://bigreaders.myfastforum.org...p;highlight=samantha+harvey#18987
Green Jay

MikeAlx wrote:
My comments on The Wilderness:

http://bigreaders.myfastforum.org...p;highlight=samantha+harvey#18987

Thanks, Mike. I think Harvey has talent. Perhaps I was a bit over-critical in my comments, but I did struggle to keep going and I read a few other books at the same time to make it easier! I take your point about the mother's trying to escape motherhood and wifehood. I can't really share your ideas about the wit, though. I found some, of it too elliptical, too repetitive, and the characterisations of Rook, Joy, the mother and the wife, rather wobbly. Jake's real father was virtually absent.

Re the list, I have read Chris Cleave, I now realise, but did not think it was a very superior thriller although it tackled a worthy subject. I have read Adam Thirlwell and Patrick Neate but can't remember much about the books.

Joanna  Kavenna - Dostoevesky meets Bridget Jones does not attract me as a reader - in fact, has me running away fast, probably screaming.
KlaraZ

I've only read a few of these authors---ScarlettThomas (whose book was far too heavy and scientific for me), Zadie Smith (whose 'On Beauty' I loathed, although I did enjoy 'White Teeth', Ross Raisin (I quite enjoyed his book, although I had some reservations--I didn't know anything about his ignominous behaviour!) and Benjamin Markovitz (a dry, rather academic 'literary' writer who manages to make Byron seem dull!)
Chibiabos83

Klara - I expressed myself badly and feel bound to set the record straight for fear of libelling Ross Raisin. I have no reason to suspect he behaves in any manner other than an exemplary one. He wasn't on A Good Read himself, but his book was a couple of weeks ago, and it wasn't particularly well received, although I think all three participants found elements to admire in it. The discussion was quite superficial, but I think it gave quite a good indication of what to expect of the book, and has pricked my enthusiasm about it.
KlaraZ

Oh, right! I misunderstood there!  Thanks for the clarification re. Ross Raisin.
Ann

I'd listened to that too, Gareth, and he was the only author I recognised. I wasn't very inspired to read the book after listening to the programme as it sounded bleak and unkind.
Chibiabos83

Yes, I think that was what attracted me to it Smile
chris-l

Caro, I fear that I must own up to being the negative voice on Chimamands Ngozi Adiche's ' Half of a Yellow Sun'. I read it for a discussion group, and really felt quite alienated from most of the characters: I would never have believed that a novel about the Biafran War could have left me feeling so unmoved. I don't think anyone in the group particularly enjoyed it, although some simply found it too distressing.

Of the other authors on the British list, I think I have only read Zadie Smith's 'On Beauty', which I found rather trite, and Dan Rhodes' 'Timoleon Vieta Come Home', which was interesting enough, but hardly a great novel.

I had problems loading the American list,so I'm not sure who was on it, but I have read a couple of Jonathan Sarfaz Foer novels: I can quite see why he attracts the attention he does, although neither book quite grabbed me. Neverthess, I think he is worth watching.
Freyda

I too was disappointed in 'On Beauty', thought it a bit of a muddle and did not warm to the characters . I couldn't see why it got so many rave reviews.

Most of the American authors are new to me, which is a bit of a let down as I do try and keep up with new writers.

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