Top Ten Tuesday! 06.05.2012

Top 10 Tuesday!

06.05.2012

By Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez /@ZaraAlexis

Today’s Top 10 Tuesday is Rewind, which means I get to go back in topic time and pick my own Top 10 list. This is my first time participating in this meme and lucky me, I landed on the day of ultimate blogger freedom (as memes go, anyway).

So, I’m going to go a little easy, dab my toe into the pond of Top 10-ish things and choose…

Topic #16: Favourite Authors

Yeah, yeah. Stop rolling your eyes, sighing, and mumbling to yourself, Borrr-rrring…

As readers, I believe it’s important to honour our writers. They are the ones who birth the words into print and give us our stories. Where would all the books we love come from if it wasn’t for our beloved scribes?

I weeded my list down to those I find are exceptional in the Canadian and American literary fiction and poetry genre—writers with a natural gift for the language and a true depth in storytelling.

I guarantee you that if you pick up a book written by one of the authors listed below, it is 98% most likely that the work is at the very least well written, if not brilliant.

And I don’t give my praise that easily. I’m not only a fickle reader; I have a background in writing (and editing), too! Uh-huh, I do. I’m no Billy Shakespeare, but I pride myself in knowing a little about literature.

Yes, tastes vary. But, there’s a great divide between good taste and bad taste. And well— like to eat.

Let’s compare lists shall we?

My Top 10 Favourite Authors:

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1. Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

Her noteworthy books include:

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Her debut short story collection, Interpreter of Maladies (1999), won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and her first novel, The Namesake (2003), was adapted into film of the same name. My favourite of her work is The Namesake, both in literature and the adapted film. (Aside from her obvious successful literary career, isn’t she just gorgeous, too?) You can read my review of Interpreter of Maladies here.

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2. Mark Strand

Mark Strand

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My favourite collection of his poetry is Blizzard of One, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1999. The style of his work is…stark. He is not a poet at heart—but a true poet, a scribe who is able to decipher the world of subtlety with the stroke of his pen—which is further solidified by his Pulitzer Prize.

BLIZZARD OF ONE by Mark Strand. Pulitzer Prize winner.

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3. Elizabeth Hay

Elizabeth Hay

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Her body of work has won acclaim and the great respect of Canadian literature enthusiasts in her award-winning book, Late Nights on Air, which won the Giller Prize in 2007. I also recently enjoyed her latest novel, Alone in the Classroom. You’re more than welcome to read my review here.

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4. Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood

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The iconic Ms. Atwood has enough press. If you don’t know “Peggy,” you’re just not well-read. Sorry. but ’tis true. My favourite poetry collection by Margaret Atwood is her collection in The Door. And of course, I absolutely love her dystopian series: The Year of the Flood and Oryx and Crake. With an exhaustive body of work, it’s difficult to choose her most prominent and most beloved work.

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5. Barbara Gowdy

Barbara Gowdy

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I was privileged enough in university to be introduced to Barbara Gowdy personally by my poetry professor, Christopher Dewdney (who also happens to be her partner!) at a reading at Calumet College of her novel, The White Bone. She is as beautiful as she is gifted—and a woman of a quiet confidence and grace.

My favourite works by Ms. Gowdy are: The Romantic, We So Seldom Look on Love (a collection of short stories), and Mr. Sandman. 

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6. Don Delillo

Don Delillo

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The moment I opened up The Body Artist by Don Delillo, I knew I discovered another master of the language. His works are a great telling of the American culture and subculture.

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7. Khaled Hosseini

Khaled Hosseini

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Yes, the film, The Kite Runner was wonderful—but it couldn’t be so without its originating novel by Khaled Hosseini. And though sequels tend to take the “back-burner” to their originals, A Thousand Splendid Suns was just as “splendid.” Khaled Hosseini is a writer at the height of his craft.

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8. Michael Ondaatje

MIchael Ondaatje

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I’ve been a devout fan of Michael Ondaatje’s work since I was a teenager, which was partially due to his sensual and thoughtful poetry—and I must confess—his eyes! Please don’t hold it against me. I’ve enjoyed many of his works and most recently, Divisadero and The Cat’s Table, which was shortlisted for the Giller Prize in 2011. You can read my review on The Cat’s Table here.

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9. Nicole Lundrigan

Nicole Lundrigan

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I won an early review title of the book, The Glass Boys through the book database and social media site, Goodreads—and I’m so glad I did. The Glass Boys introduced me to a writer of taut creativity, sensitivity, and talent. Nicole Lundrigan may not have the accolades that some of her peers do, which only makes her a hidden gem of an author.  My review of The Glass Boys can be read here.

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10. Alice Hoffman

Alice Hoffman

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THE DOVEKEEPERS by Alice Hoffman

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I was unaware of Alice Hoffman before my experience with The Dovekeepers, which now happens to be one of my favourite novels of all time. Yes, that’s a heavy attestation, but I stand firm in my faith in her work. The Dovekeepers had just the right poetic prose, drama, and historical fiction for the literary world to notice and for me to love. The Dovekeepers remains to me, a beautiful narrative of the empowered woman and the Jewish culture.

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Thanks to The Broke and the Bookish, who began and continues to host the Top Tuesday meme.

How does your Top 10 Favourite Authors list compare to mine?

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