A post on The News Blog a week or so back pointed me to this NYT article, in which,
...the Book Review's editor, Sam Tanenhaus, sent out a short letter to a couple of hundred prominent writers, critics, editors and other literary sages, asking them to please identify "the single best work of American fiction published in the last 25 years."
The results were:
Beloved, Toni Morrison (1987)
Underworld, Don DeLillo (1997)
Blood Meridian, Cormac McCarthy (1985)
Rabbit Angstrom: The Four Novels, John Updike
American Pastoral, Philip Roth, (1997)
THE FOLLOWING BOOKS ALSO RECEIVED MULTIPLE VOTES:
A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole (1980)
Housekeeping, Marilynne Robinson (1980)
Winter's Tale, Mark Helprin (1983)
White Noise, Don DeLillo (1985)
The Counterlife, Philip Roth (1986)
Libra, Don DeLillo (1988)
Where I'm Calling From, Raymond Carver (1988)
The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien (1990)
Mating, Norman Rush (1991)
Jesus' Son, Denis Johnson (1992)
Operation Shylock, Philip Roth (1993)
Independence Day, Richard Ford (1995)
Sabbath's Theater, Philip Roth (1995)
Border Trilogy, Cormac McCarthy (1999)
The Human Stain, Philip Roth (2000)
The Known World, Edward P. Jones (2003)
The Plot Against America, Philip Roth (2004)
I won't comment much here - I'll follow up on any comments you, dear reader, leave for this discussion thread. Do you agree with the list for the most part? Any glaring ommissions? Have you even read any of these books? What would your #1 be if you don't agree that Beloved was all that terrific (or why was it also your choice)?
But as I said, you can also consider it an open thread and you can talk about whatever moves you.
PS - (RE: my last post) I appreciate all the back pats (and shame on those of you who chose to use back-patting as an opportunity to cop a cheap feel) regarding my last post but I have to tell you it was pure snark and just an excuse to post cute pics. I really, REALLY was not being self-pitying or anything - life is wonderful. But I was flattered by the comments, anyway.