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View Diary: Books Go Boom!   Who's Your Favorite 21st Century Writer? Why are they Delicious? (158 comments)

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  •  hello, dear Brecht (6+ / 0-)

    thank you for this lovely diary.  that's a really tough question . . . . i have so many favorites. ;)

    Junot Diaz, followed very very closely by Edwidge Danticat, Zadie Smith, and Gillian Flynn.  

    nice to see you as always, mi amado.

    •  Hello, sweet Avila. "i have so many favorites." (3+ / 0-)

      I know what you mean. If I were doing it right, I'd sit down for a couple of hours - actually, I'd look through my bookshelves, and figure out my top 20 list.

      But I don't dive into my favorites quite as much as I used to, when I'd read half a dozen books in a row when I discovered a new favorite author. It's the tyranny of the TBR list. A shame. there's something you only find in an author when you go running through all their meadows and valleys at once, a richer acquaintance.

      Remember being a teenager, how you'd buy a new album and play it every day for two weeks, and practically memorize the lyric sheet?

      Oscar Wao is on my shelf, Gone Girl is on my list, White Teeth - I saw the miniseries (and was a bit put off by how popular she's been. But I keep hearing good things about all her books). And I still haven't read pico's Edwidge Danticat diary. I just noticed he did one on Zadie Smith, too.

      I just noticed you wrote a very well-linked Boston Action Diary. What a horrible week. But well done.

      Thank you, mi amado, for stopping by to chat. And for doing good.

      "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

      by Brecht on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 05:08:09 PM PDT

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      •  haha, i still do this (3+ / 0-)

        buy the CD (or download the MP3),  read the lyrics for weeks on end. ;)

        you are so right about the TBR list.  i have read both of pico's diaries and the books, and favor Danticat over Jones somewhat, but both are brilliant writers.

        Danticat has a bit more appeal to me in that we have some common ancestry, but her gift is that she writes sparingly, with not an extraneous word, and writes so very beautifully of a culture most writers stay away from.

        Zadie Jones is a very different writer, not tart noir or mean girl as i have read in some reviews, but her mordant wit can be something of an acquired taste for some.

        thank you, mi amado, for your kindness, but i just did what anyone feeling helpless and wanting to help would do. ;)  

        •  So I'll go read the Danticat diary, and come back. (3+ / 0-)

          I have always been lousy at multi-tasking. Perhaps I have some form of meta-OCD. I seem to have different phases, where I'm primarily reading books, or on the internet, or listening to music. And these days the internet's crowding out the other two.

          I should schedule myself a bit, and make sure that I read some book and listen to a CD every day. Though, if I'm going to schedule myself, I could start with more exercise and cleaning. I do find cleaning and CD listening go pretty well together.

          "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

          by Brecht on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 08:18:04 PM PDT

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        •  Authors who aim for extremes, especially of light (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bookgirl, RiveroftheWest, Avila

          and darkness, and then find a way to integrate them into a larger, multi-hued whole, have been drawing my attention recently. It's hard to pull off convincingly: To invent a whole large enough to comfortably contain the extremes, and then to do all the work, painting a reality of credible detail instead of an entertaining but light-weight cartoon.

          It sounds like Danticat manages this, with all the flavor of Haiti in the mix:

          Danticat's work is evocative, shifting between the sensations of urban and rural life, extremes of wealth and poverty, moments of extreme violence and spaces of calm.  Like the language of Haiti itself (more on this below), the mish-mash of experiences creates a flavor all its own. . . . the horrors of Haitian history, violence, and poverty often overshadow one of its major virtues: Haiti can be a place of tremendous beauty.  The balancing act that underpins Danticat's work is the acknowledgment of the horror and the beauty together: if we want to understand this country and this people, we cannot ignore either.
          If she can do all that, and also, as you say "writes sparingly, with not an extraneous word," then she has rare skills indeed.

          It's such a relief that the Boston mess finished without any more explosions. I hope you're having a peaceful and pleasant weekend.

          "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

          by Brecht on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 10:26:31 AM PDT

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