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Sunday, December 30, 2007


Here are some of the authors I would like to read more of in the coming year

1.Philip Roth- One of the most influential figures in American and,indeed,world literature.I have read two of his novels-the classic "Portnoy's Complaint" and the lesser-known but equally hilarious"Our Gang".I plan to start his Nathan Zuckerman(his fictional alter-ego)series,which he concluded this year with "Exit Ghost".

2.Gunter Grass- The incomparable German,whose frantic,magical realist style inspired writers like Salman Rushdie,is on my list.His magnum opus "The Tin Drum" is already on my shelf,while a couple of others lie on the musty college library racks.The horror of Germany during the Holocaust awaits.....

3.Orhan Pamuk-I became a fan after reading "Snow" whose absurdist,macabre and Kafkaesque humour,coupled with a beautifully crafted tale of the (cliched) clash of East and West,won him kudos worldwide. A Nobel Prize followed soon after."The Black Book" and "Istanbul" are on my wishlist.

4.Thomas Pynchon-I read a few of his early short stories,which he had written much before the dense panoramic works like "Gravity's Rainbow","V" and "The Crying of Lot 49"(which I have on my computer right now) which were to make him famous worldwide.The famously reclusive author(very few photographs of him exist) also released a new historical novel"Against the Day" in 2006.

5.Hari Kunzru-The young Brit-Indian writer is every bit the modern writer.He announced his arrival with his debut novel"The Impressionist" and went on to write two more novels "Transmission" and last year's much applauded "My Revolutions".After reading a few of his science fiction stories,I must say I am looking forward to reading some of his longer works.

6.Milan Kundera-I have read a few of his essays,and I have the Czech stalwart's "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" on my computer right now.I was pleasantly surprised to find Kundera in a bookshop in humble Kharagpur!(where my college is)

7.Michael Chabon-I was enthralled by his novella "The Final Solution" which resurrected one of the most iconic characters ever to be created-Sherlock Holmes,albeit an 89-year old Holmes,at death's doorstep,but still in supreme control of his famous mental "faculties". On my wishlist are the Pulitzer winning"The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay" and "Wonder Boys".

8.Norman Mailer-The irritable,combative and,literally pugilistic(he had a lifelong obesession with boxing) veteran of American literature,who passed away this year(It was a sad year for America especially as both Mailer and Kurt Vonnegut bid adieu)is next on my list.I will be looking for "The Naked and The Dead" and "The Executioner's Song".

9.Joyce Carol Oates-Her incisive short stories(most of which I read on the online version of "The New Yorker")made a huge impression on me.She can make you cringe effortlessly and had many critics looking the other way.Along with her Canadian counterpart Alice Munro,she is one of the leading short story writers in the world today.

10.Amitav Ghosh-He is one of the best known Indian writers worldwide.I read one of his best known works "The Shadow Lines" a couple of years ago.On my list are "The Hungry Tide" and his science fiction novel "The Calcutta Chromosome".He will also release a new novel this year,"The Sea of Poppies",the first of a new trilogy about the opium wars.

P.S. If you guys thinK this is a bit too heavy or overtly"serious" list,I also plan to beef up on the fantasy/science fiction genre with guys like Terry Pratchett,Samit Basu,Eoin Colfer and Jonathan Stroud.Also ,coming up in February is the Kolkata Book Fair,so make sure you guys don't miss that one! Happy New Year and happy reading!

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