While Americans and The New York Times
are busy worrying about whether or not Nobel Prize winner and staple of college lit classes Toni Morrison ACTUALLY wrote the best American novel in the past 25 years or whether such authors as Philip Roth or John Updike and their white male sexual angst better represent all the United States has to offer, in the UK, readers polled by The Book Magazine
Rowling tops book magazine poll
Harry Potter author JK Rowling has been named the greatest living British writer in a magazine poll.
June 8, 2006
Rowling topped the poll for The Book Magazine, receiving nearly three times as many votes as second-place author, fantasy writer Terry Pratchett.
The pair were followed by previous Booker Prize winners Ian McEwan, Salman Rushdie and Kazuo Ishiguro.
Zadie Smith, who won the Orange Prize for her novel On Beauty on Tuesday, came in at number 33.
"Our survey provides a fascinating insight into what the British public thinks makes a 'great' writer," said Christine Kidney, editor of the trade paper.
"It shows how a writer can connect with us, as if we were the only reader in the world, and it's why books prove to be such enduringly popular objects."
Other writers who made it into the top twenty include Nick Hornby, Jonathan Coe, Philip Pullman and Muriel Spark.
Rowling is currently writing the seventh and final book in the Harry Potter series.
*bwa ha ha ha* If I were a Brit, I would be embarrassed right about now. The semi-literate and torpid can't even bother to use the excuse that Rowling was the only British author that they could name offhand--the contest website
GIVES you a list of potentials to choose from! (Of course, that doesn't eliminate the possibility that hers was the only name a lot of these people RECOGNIZED. Or had read. Which speaks to something altogether different.)
I guess the results mean that, as far as people in the UK are concerned, "GREAT" means "(s)he who sells the most books." *sighs* By the same definition, someone like Dan Brown or Mary Higgins Clark would be the Greatest Living American Writer. The horror...
(And by the way, being a bestselling author does not mean that you will be remembered a hundred years from now. Ever heard of Mary Jane Holmes or E.D.E.N. Southworth? Yeah. Exactly.)