In the High Peaks

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

15 Most Under-Rated Authors

Publisher's Weekly just published its list of the fifteen most under-rated authors. What do you think of the authors on the list? I'm embarrassed to say that I believe I know only the work of Mary Gaitskill and Anthony Doerr. Let's check the rest out!

Donald Antrim
Jo Ann Beard
Anthony Doerr
Deborah Eisenberg
Stephen Elliott
Steve Erickson
Brian Evenson
Percival Everett
Mary Gaitskill
Tessa Hadley
Kelly Link
Sam Lipsyte
Lydia Millet
Christine Schutt
Matthew Sharpe

I worked all day trying to get my head around the classes I'm going to be teaching. Several English composition textbook publishers have sent me books to review for possible course adoption.

Let me be honest. Some of them terrified me, a person who has been a professional writer for decades! If I were a first-year college student, and someone made me buy a 1000+ page book about college writing, that book would extinguish any modicum of interest I may have had in writing.

Writing needs to be simplified, not made more complicated, especially for students who are not the ablest and for whom writing is a difficult activity! Writing needs to be perceived as an activity that's within everyone's grasp.

I'm hoping to encourage at least some of my students to start a blog that's focused on an area of keen personal interest. I'll let you know how that turns out.

Classes start September 8th.


  1. Wow, yes I would have been scared of a 1000 page book about writing...unless we're talking a whole lotta pictures! I think having your students start a blog is an interesting idea. I'll be looking forward to hearing about it!

  2. I must admit that I haven't heard of any of those authors - I'm beginning to get worried!

    I think that your students are going to see you as a breath of fresh air.