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Writers Nobody Knows (Let Alone Reads)

Both of my favorite local indies, Green Apple Books and City Lights, shared a list of ten great writers nobody reads. Honestly, reading is an old sport, and it takes much longer time to finish a book than to watch a movie or to listen to an album. Reading takes concentration and effort. A lot of books have gone unnoticed, unfashioned, forgotten, neglected, and out-moded.

Ten new names for me, many more opportunities: Marcel Schwob , dying young, is a writer whose influence far exceeds his readership. Mary Butts has a penchant for scandal. Marguerite Young takes so long to finish a novel that she is forgotten. Joao Guimaraes Rosa is the Brazilian James Joyce. Julien Gracq is geographer teacher-cum-writer. Jane Bowles can be classified as a very quirky and strange writer. Augusto Monterroso is the author of one of the world’s shortest stories. Rosemary Tonks retreated from the literary scene and preferred nobody to read her work after the publication of two collections of poetry. Fran Ross is a writer who was way ahead of her time. Driss ben Hamed Charhadi is an illiterate shepherd and petty drug trafficker in Tangier!

I have also come across hundreds of writers forgotten by history or ignored altogether. Some undoubtedly deserve their fate; others, immensely talented writers, would nearly break my heart. This list couldn’t have come to me at a better time as I’m thinking about my summer reads. I’m never a fan of fluffy beach reads so this list gives me a good reason to browse the dusty shelves of used bookstore and seek out these forgotten authors.

2 Responses

  1. Thank you for this! I often find myself reading only the books that make the “Best of” lists, and this is a good reminder to stray off the beaten path.

  2. Thank you for posting these writers. I love to discover books that are very good, yet have remained off of the beaten path of popularity. I find this to happen also in the case of music, where there is a LOT of very good stuff out there that nobody seems to know about. I might suggest the author Hans Fallada and, in particular, his book “Every Man Dies Alone.” I have also found several of his other books quite good. So many books, so little time…

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