Summary and book reviews of The Salon.com Reader's Guide to Contemporary Authors by Laura Miller

The Salon.com Reader's Guide to Contemporary Authors

by Laura Miller

The Salon.com Reader's Guide to Contemporary Authors
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    Aug 2000, 512 pages

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Book Summary

An all-original, A-to-Z guide to 225 of the most fascinating writers of our time, penned by an international cast of talented young critics and reviewers.

Since it began in 1995, Salon.com has been showered with awards and praise. Now, its 150,000 devoted readers can devour The Salon.com Reader's Guide to Contemporary Authors--an all-original, A-to-Z guide to 225 of the most fascinating writers of our time, penned by an international cast of talented young critics and reviewers. Here are profiles, reviews, and bibliographies of the authors that matter most now--from Margaret Atwood to Tobias Wolff, Paul Auster to Alice Walker. Also included are essays and recommended reading lists by some of the authors themselves, such as Dorothy Allison on the books that shaped her, A. S. Byatt on her five favorite historical novels, Rick Moody on postmodern fiction, Robert Stone on the greatest war novels, and Ian McEwan on the best fiction about work.

Peppered throughout with marvelously witty illustrations, The Salon.com Reader's Guide to Contemporary Authors will be a must-have for anyone who is looking for cocktail party conversation starters, a good read, or advice on what to read next.

(This introduction is followed by an excerpt from the book with information on Edward Abbey, Chinua Achebe and Dorothy Allison)


Introduction by Laura Miller

It's one thing to say the literary landscape has been radically transformed in the past four decades, and something else again to revisit the territory of 1963 by leafing through Esquire magazine's special literary issue published in July of that year. The society it depicts seems startlingly remote. There's a charming naivete to the magazine's confidence in its ability to suss out the scene, from the seven full pages it gives Norman Mailer to evaluate nine books from his chief competitors (yes, they're all men) to the photo essays about the swingin' lives of a beatnik poet and a young Hollywood screenwriter, to the cover story about Allen Ginsberg's jaunt to India, a piece which manages to deftly skirt the small matter of the poet's homosexuality. But most endearing of all is a "chart of power" assembled...

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USA Today

There are many guides to literature. What sets the Salon.com apart is its tone. While some of the entries are adoring, others are blistering.

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