As the Book Review Editor at the News & Observer of Raleigh, I had the great good fortune to work with Fred Chappell and Robert Morgan after they had already established themselves as leading Appalachian writers who were masters of almost every literary form, including short stories, poetry and the novel.
Our newest list comes from Lev Grossman, who has pulled off the magical feat of creating literary works with bestseller appeal. Lev’s work is informed by the fantastic.
Warp (1997) centers on a verbally clever Star Trek fan on the cusp (we hope) of adulthood, who imagines himself in various episodes of the show and as a knight-errant saving damsel’s in distress.
Please welcome Martha McPhee to Top Ten Land.
Barry Unsworth, a Top Ten contributor, has died of lung cancer. He was 81.
The New York Times reports: “Unsworth, considered one of the foremost historical novelists in English, was known for rich, densely textured fiction that conjured lost worlds — those of the Trojan War, medieval Europe and the Napoleonic age, among many others.
Our newest list comes from Lionel Shriver, who was reared in Raleigh, N.C. and now lives in London and Brooklyn.
John Irving’s 13th novel, “In One Person,” opens with a very funny scene about a young man whose efforts to check out a book are complicated by his lust for his local librarian.
While most readers will focus on the character’s aching tumescence, we Top Tenner’s have but one question: What book is he trying to check out?
We can also guess the answer, because it is one of Irving’s very books (pip, pip, hooray!).