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View Diary: Books Go Boom!   Who is the Greatest Woman Novelist since 1950? (294 comments)

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  •  Steinbeck was huge at the time - between that, and (4+ / 0-)

    his books being so much of that time, I think he got a little left behind. But before 1950, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Hemingway and Steinbeck seem to me the big four US men.

    John dos Passos, Sherwood Anderson, Jack London, Theodore Dreiser, Sinclair Lewis, Upton Sinclair, Frank Norris, Thomas Wolfe, Erskine Caldwell, John O'Hara, Henry Miller, Richard Wright, Nathanael West, Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler were each big in their day, but few of them have stood the test of time. Some of them are magnificent, though.

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

    by Brecht on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 08:57:58 PM PDT

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    •  It's interesting which books stand the test time. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brecht, RiveroftheWest

      For example, I think "The Sea Wolf" by Jack London is a great book, far better than "Call of the Wild" or "White Fang".  "The Sea Wolf" is the one that is least remembered, however.

    •  I'm not sure what you mean (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brecht, RiveroftheWest

      by not having stood the test of time.  All the writers you mention after your "big four" are still widely read and respected today and I imagine they will always occupy an important place in American literature.  

      It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

      by Radiowalla on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 09:32:02 PM PDT

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      •  I was aiming for the top US novelists 1900-1950 so (3+ / 0-)

        yes, they are all respected today. They're still read, but I wouldn't say widely - just among serious readers, most of them.

        It's a question of degree. If you look at the big four, I've seen multiple novels by each of them, put out on the "suggested reading" tables at my local Barnes & Noble. I can only think of a few among the other fifteen I could say that of, and those would be the ones who are masters of their niches: Chandler, Miller & Wright.

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

        by Brecht on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 10:02:08 PM PDT

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    •  Read frank Norris's the octopus within the last (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest, Brecht

      Year and thought it was very, very good.  All about how farmers in ca tried to form a coop in order to get better rates from the rail roads and losing.

      Made a great companion piece to night riders from the superb Robert penn warren about tobacco farmers in the south trying to organize against large buyers of tobacco in ord to get better prices and losing.

      Dreiser's American tragedy is a masterpiece.

      My apologies for replying to the tip jar.  I was rushing off the train and wanted to leave a quick post on the diary.  Didn't realize here I stopped to chat.  My phone isn't the dkos interface... Lol.

      Another outstanding diary Brecht.

      Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends. - Gandalf the Grey

      by No Exit on Sun Jun 16, 2013 at 08:34:49 AM PDT

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      •  "Dreiser's American tragedy is a masterpiece." (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        No Exit, RiveroftheWest

        Yes, so very sad. Some say Sister Carrie is better (I haven't got there yet). I've also only read the one Robert Penn Warren - which bowled me over. Good to know about Frank Norris, thanks.

        Most of the outstanding in this diary came in all the fascinating comments that grew out of it. To paraphrase Falstaff, I'm not only eloquent, I'm the cause of eloquence in others. You could write a book diary someday, No Exit - you've plenty of knowledge and opinions to share.

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

        by Brecht on Sun Jun 16, 2013 at 12:49:08 PM PDT

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