Monday, December 04, 2006


The Americans and British have a different attitude toward great literature. This past spring the New York Times Book Review's group of judges selected the best American novel in the last 25 years. Beloved by Toni Morrison (1987) was no. 1, and the runners-up were Underworld by Don DeLillo(1997), Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy (1985), Rabbit Angstrom: The Four Novels by John Updike (1995), and American Pastoral by Philip Roth (1997). This past October the British newspaper, The Observer, selected the best novels in the English language, excluding American titles. Disgrace by JM Coetzee (1999) was no. 1, and the runners-up were Money by Martin Amis (1984), Earthly Powers by Anthony Burgess (1980), Atonement by Ian McEwan (2001), The Blue Flower by Penelope Fitzgerald (1995), The Unconsoled (1995) by
Kazuo Ishiguro, and Midnight's Children (1981) by Salman Rushdie. Although I have not read them all, my personal favorite is the Rabbit Angstrom quartet - Rabbit Run, Rabbit Redux, Rabbit is Rich, and Rabbit at Rest - by John Updike.

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