Congratulations to Top Ten contributor Roxana Robinson, who has been elected President of the Authors Guild. She replaces another contributor, Scott Turow.
“American writing is alive and well. There is no question about the vitality of our literary community or the vitality of the literary impulse in the United States. There will always be authors, there will always books,” Mr. Turow said at the meeting. “We need to continue the struggle in order to protect writing as a livelihood.”
“As writers, we are living in very interesting times. The challenges are huge,” Ms. Robinson said after her election, “and I am thrilled to be a part of it all. We’re going to move ahead, we’re going to extend our membership, we’re going to continue to offer practical help and advice and a sense of community to our writers, and we’re going to continue to support the craft of writing.”
Roxana Robinson’s Top Ten List
1. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (1869).
2. The stories of Anton Chekhov (1860–1904).
3. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf (1927).
4. Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann (1900).
5. A Room with a View by E. M. Forster (1908).
6. The Raj Quartet by Paul Scott (1966–75).
7. The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (1958).
8. Rabbit Angstrom — Rabbit, Run (1960), Rabbit Redux (1971), Rabbit Is Rich (1981), Rabbit at Rest (1990) — by John Updike.
9. The Transit of Venus by Shirley Hazzard (1980.
10. Disgrace by J. M. Coetzee (1999).
Scott Turow’s Top Ten List
1. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce (1916), which first showed me that fiction could articulate what I took as wild and private dreams.
2. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (1877), because of the powerful and intimate rendition of these webbed lives.
3. Rabbit Angstrom — Rabbit, Run (1960), Rabbit Redux (1971), Rabbit Is Rich (1981), Rabbit at Rest (1990) by John Updike, because of their acute observation and moral courage.
4. Herzog by Saul Bellow (1964), for its extraordinary language, intellectual power and its observations of Chicago.
5. Tell Me a Riddle by Tillie Olsen (1961), for its inventiveness and power.
6. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (1844), for its spectacular plot.
7. The works of William Shakespeare (1564–1616), for their miraculous language and extraordinary observations about humanity.
8. The Bear by William Faulkner (1942), for telling the quintessential American story from inside the American mind.
9. Tender Is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1934), an extremely contemporary book that anticipated much of our current preoccupation with gender.
10. The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett (1932), for its elegance and perfect mystery.