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Great Authors to Read Before They Die

Here are some of the great living American authors I would like to read more of before they die.

Don DeLillo (b. 1936)- Haven’t read yet but would like to read: White Noise (1985)

Cormac McCarthy (b. 1933)- Have read The Road (2006); would like to read No Country for Old Men (2005) and Blood Meridian (1985)

Toni Morrison (b. 1931)- Have read Jazz (1992); would like to read Beloved (1987) and Song of Solomon (1977)

Thomas Pynchon (b. 1937)- Have read The Crying of Lot 49 (1966); Would like to read Gravity’s Rainbow (1973)

Philip Roth (b. 1933)- Have read The Ghost Writer (1979); would like to read American Pastoral (1997)

  1. May 9, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    Agreed! I love McCarthy and Roth, though I haven’t read Pynchon, DeLillo, or Morrison. They remain on my perennial “must-read” list. Lately I’ve been gobbling up 19th and early 20th century classics (written by already-dead people). I should probably take a break and dive into some literature written by still-living authors. I actually thought Pynchon had passed away, and that McCarthy was much younger than he actually is. Shows how much I know! I’m sad that I didn’t read much of Updike’s work before he died, aside from some essays.

    Good advice!

  2. May 9, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    What an interesting list – I love the idea of reading someone simply because they’re around and might not be for long. Thanks for sharing! -abi

  3. May 10, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    @atomsofthought Pynchon is really hard to read, I started Gravity’s Rainbow last year and didn’t get very far. I have been trying to get a grip on the more modern authors and novels out there because I had been reading a lot from many decades past but want to be with the times as well. I would have put Updike on this list if he hadn’t passed away recently.

    @abi I figured I should try and appreciate great modern literature when the authors are still alive so that when I am old I can think back to when I was young and read them while they are living.

    Are there any other great modern authors people can think of that are still living? Ones who aim to write “Literature”?

  4. Deb
    May 14, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    Umberto Eco. Don’t underestimate ” The Name of the Rose” just because they made a movie out of it.

    Borges is definitely high on all current lists. I’m not really familiar with his work.

    Fine start to a literary blog. I like the idea, as most of my authors are dead. I like them seasoned a bit.

  5. May 16, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    Great suggestions Deb! I have heard of both and read some of Borges’ stories but they didn’t cross my mind.

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