Hey, it’s the first of November, booklovers, so you know what that means… Happy Author Day!
To celebrate, we have asked our editorial staff what their favorite authors were during each main literary time period and what about them makes them or their writing so special to them, and the results are in! So, if you would, take a gander at their selections if you want to branch off into a whole other era of literature you have never ventured before…
First off: the basics…
Who is your favorite classics author (of works written up to the mid-20th century)? Why are they your favorite classics author? What is it about their works or writing style/voice that makes them your favorite?
“Louisa May Alcott: Her writing is nice to follow without being too easy of a read. She does a beautiful job of introducing and developing characters.” –Lisa
“Jonathan Swift: Great Satirist. He can make anyone laugh. His Modest Proposal is excellent.” –Matt
“Charlotte Brontë: Jane Eyre is a phenomenal classic, my all time favorite novel, and a gorgeous gothic. I love the gothic. The darkness, the emotion, the human frailty, and the slow build for a cataclysmal cracking in the systems at large, whether they be societal or simply within the walls of an aging and mysterious Victorian home. Jane Eyre is my idol; a humble, hard-working, empowered and deep-feeling believer in love, yet she would not sacrifice herself for it. It’s feminism at its absolute best and the prose is beyond words.” –Sammie
“Oscar Wilde: Well, first of all, his writing style is amazing. He is funny and realistic; plus, the imagery he uses is great. Also, I just love how flamboyant he was. He also was a firm believer of aestheticism or art for art’s sake. He didn’t really think that beauty was supposed to be justified, it just existed to be beautiful and I don’t know why, but I love that.” –Camila
“Jane Austen: Her work is still astonishingly relevant, funny, and up-yours honest. Her female characters are full-fledged and relatable even to the modern woman, and her eye for drawing-room hypocrisy is ruthless.” –Patricia
“John Steinbeck: His descriptive prowess of nature and his characters that are simple yet sympathetic and exemplary of the American experience.” –Craig
“Mary Shelley: [She] is a personal hero of mine. She was so ahead of her time, inventing a whole new literary genre as a teenager. I also think ‘The Last Man’ and ‘Mathilda’ are very underrated. She’s more than just Frankenstein!” –Valarie
Next: the “in-betweener” of literary eras…
Who is your favorite post-classics author (of works written between the mid- to late 20th century)? Why are they your favorite post-classics author? What is it about their works or writing style/voice that makes them your favorite?
“Ursula K. Le Guin: I like the sincerity and care she puts into her writing.” –Emily
“Harper Lee: To Kill a Mockingbird is a dream of a novel. Such a moving, real, and uplifting coming of age story with inherit messages of acceptance and fighting for justice with reckless abandon. And written from the perspective of Scout’s young mind, it’s really very impressive skill.” –Sammie
“Maya Angelou: I cannot decide what is most invigorating: reading Maya Angelou’s work or listening to her recite it. The first person to pop into my mind when I think of quality storytelling, Angelou’s language is grounded as it is celebratory. It is not afraid to reach out, grab your heart in its hand, and give it a talking-to. Angelou’s voice is a healing balm and a firework in equal measure, and it comes from the very midst of the people.” –Patricia
“His supernatural horrors are some of the most imaginative I’ve ever read, and his prose contains both moments of levity with casual language and moments of gravity with tonally heavy, almost poetic language.” –Craig
“[Either] Shirley Jackson or Joan Didion: Shirley Jackson is just so amazing at creating uncomfortable atmospheres that keep me biting my nails waiting to see what happens next. Joan Didion seemed to capture an entire era within her writing, especially in the book ‘The White Album.’” –Valarie
And last but certainly not least: the baby – and probably the most favorite – of the three eras…
Who is your favorite contemporary author (of works written since the start of the 21st century)? Why are they your favorite contemporary author? What is it about their works or writing style/voice that makes them your favorite?
“Louise Erdrich: She writes about life as a Native American born and raised on reservation, which I find very fascinating. Every book of hers that I’ve read has stuck with me because of how powerful they are.” –Lisa
“Nicholas Sparks: His books provide a nice escape when looking for something romantic to read.” –Bridget
“K.M. Alexander: He writes about post apocalypse film noir, the worlds feel really fleshed out and the characters are worth caring about.” –Emily
“Anne Rice: Her writing is unlike anything I’ve ever read. She has a talent for prose equal to that of magic or delightful hypnotism. She quite literally pulls you through visceral and tangible stories at a rather fast pace, and you can’t help but continue to devour. She has a crazy volume of pages written between her several novels, and her view of the vampire is the most historically accurate version you will find.” –Sammie
“Tahereh Mafi: She is a YA/Middle grade writer and every word she writes is absolutely beautiful. She has the most creative way of writing things down, but there’s also a lot of humanity in her writing. Also, her style (of fashion) is phenomenal? Just check out her Instagram and you’ll see what I mean.” –Camila
“Lisa See: [She] incorporates true historical events/practices in ancient Asian cultures with fiction. She creates compelling stories that provide an educational and historical background and pulls on your heart strings with her storylines!” –Raven
“Margaret Atwood: [She] has a precise eye for detail, description, and the human condition, and so her prose is masterfully fine-tuned and able to captivate anyone living with their eyes open in the same world as her. I am convinced she could tell and retell any story at her whim, as she seems to understand the layers upon layers in people, and therefore, write characters that strike all manner of chords in her readers. Reading Atwood’s work is a little like looking into a crystal ball and opening a memory album at the same time.” –Patricia
“Neil Gaiman: His stories are so fun. I always feel like I’m going on an adventure with his characters. There’s humor and wit, and a deeply embedded sense of compassion. I know that’s similar to what I said for Wilde, but it stands for Gaiman too. ‘The Ocean at the End of The Lane’ was the equivalent of literary comfort food for me, and ‘Neverwhere’ was like an adventure in a fantastical version of the London Underground. There’s something to be said for stories that can find wonder in everyday things and places.” –Danielle
“Sally Rooney: I love the honest and realistic relationships between characters she is able to create in her stories. Her characters are dynamic and well-rounded and readers are able to relate to them on almost a personal level.” –Gina
“My all-time favorite book is The Road, and its descriptive language of the post-apocalyptic environment is some of the most horrifying vivid prose I have ever read. The language in the prose in all of his books is also simple yet stunning, almost Biblical.” –Craig
Since I’m on editorial as well, my author picks would go as follows: for the classics, F. Scott Fitzgerald because of the beauty and flow in his writing, especially in his imagery; for the post-classics, Harper Lee because of her pack-punching messages in her storytelling in the simplest of ways; and for contemporary, while there are many greats for me to choose from, I’ll stick with John Green because of his nice blend of maturity and relatability in his Young Adult narratives!
Now: some more authors you might like, according to our editorial staff!
Are there any favorite authors of any specific literary genre(s) that you would like to include? How come?
“Terry Pratchett: [He] is a favorite of mine, I like how his work is able to find a balance between being very humorous and serious, all without taking himself or his work too seriously.” –Emily
“Ocean Vuong: He mainly writes poetry, but he also has some literary fiction works. He is new one to me, but I just had to include him. Every sentence he writes it’s just gorgeous. It’s like he took a look at my brain and just wrote down everything I never knew how to actually verbalize. If you haven’t read On Earth, We’re Briefly Gorgeous, go do it right now.” –Camila
“Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Soniah Kamal, [and] Balli Kaur Jaswal: I have only just began exploring their work, and I am already smitten. Gabriela Mistral, additionally, almost took Maya Angelou’s place above.” –Patricia
“George R.R Martin is my absolute favorite fantasy author, as he’s perhaps the only one that doesn’t simplify his world into a generic good vs. evil, making the characters complex and morally gray and therefore more real, and therefore more sympathetic.” –Craig
Which of these authors are you willing to give a shot in reading next?
Featured Image via Pixabay