The Reader's Guide to Contemporary Authors

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Penguin Books, 2000 - Literary Criticism - 455 pages
A provocative and compulsively readable guide to the best and worst in contemporary fiction

If you love a book and want to find out more about the author, if you're wondering what critics think of a writer you admire (or despise), or if you've got a free weekend and are looking for a novel that won't waste your time, The Reader's Guide to Contemporary Authors is for you. 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, The Reader's Guide contains profiles, reviews, and bibliographies of the authors who matter most now -- from Margaret Atwood to Tobias Wolff and from Paul Auster to Alice Walker. Also included are essays and recommended reading lists from the authors themselves, such as Dorothy Allison on the books that shaped her, A. S. Byatt on her five favorite historical novels, Ian McEwan on the best fiction about work, Rick Moody on postmodern fiction, and Robert Stone on the greatest war novels.

Peppered throughout with marvelously witty illustrations, The Reader's Guide to Contemporary Authors will reflect the intensity of your best (and worst) reading experience -- it will inform, captivate, delight, and stir debate. Most importantly, it will answer the question close to the heart of any fiction lover holding a novel in his or her hands: Why should I read this?

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User Review  - bezoar44 - LibraryThing

Published in 2000, this book is a sort of hip biographical dictionary, short on details of authors' personal lives, but covering their major and minor works in about two pages each. The reviews are ... Read full review


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About the author (2000)

Adam Begley was the books editor for the New York Observer from 1996 to 2009. He has been a Guggenheim fellow and a fellow at the Leon Levy Center for Biography at the CUNY Graduate Center. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, New York Times Magazine, Financial Times, Guardian, London Review of Books, Times Literary Supplement, and many other publications. He lives in England.

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