Good English WritersWell-qualified English authors
This disillusioning statistic is not intended to dishearten authors, but to point out the obvious: Nobody is reading. Will Schofield, the man behind the 50-watt treasury, Writer's No One Reader, began with this in his head, an abruptly populist tumble that highlights "forgotten, ignored, deserted, abandoned, unrecognised, unconfessed, overshadowed, unfashionable, under-translated authors.
" Shortly afterwards, Jozsef Szabo and I came to Will as journalists and have since assembled a collection of un-read authors scanned from our own private library and web sites (like the big page of neglected books), along with proposals from other people. I have since met several hundred authors who have been either ignored or completely ignored by the story.
There is no doubt that some merit their destiny, others, some of them extremely gifted authors, almost breaking your hearts. I' m no nearer to grasping the ups and downs of literature's happiness (the minute I do it, I'll open my own publisher ), but in my study of these authors I've developed a series of catagories into which many are falling.
I have ten below, with a footer that confirms any listing like this is a question of individual preference and is absolutely exclusive. However, the ghost of Writers No One Reads was never one of hipness-we are three confessedly unadapted book kinds who like to dig through the dust spots of the literature past and share what we have found.
Finally, in the hopes that it is not too early to prevent some of the authors on this shortlist from being completely forgotten, every one of the books on this shortlist is currently in the press. Perhaps Marcel Schwob is the most author you've never even known. In English-language countries illegally ignored, Schwob - a kind of French Robert Louis Stevenson - nevertheless exercised a great deal of power over his more illustrious followers, among them Alfred Jarry, Borges, Paul Valery, Roberto Bolaño and others.
It is the embodiment of the author, whom no one believes to be reading, but who continues to live in the work of others because of his deep impact. Mary Butts, the "storm goddess", was not always a novelist who nobody was reading. The Marguerite Young funeral of 1995 led to one of the most intriguing obituaries (published in the New York Times) I have ever known.
Amidst this wealthy private world, for 20 years she wrote the 1,200-page Miss Macintosh, My Darling, a novel that served as a remedy for the writer's blockade of a figure in Anne Tyler's Accidental Tourist. Vereda's (translated as The Devil to Play in the Backlands) is regarded by many as Brazil's Odysseus equivalents and is on a top 100 book of all time shortlist as chosen by 100 of the world's authors.
In spite of the applause, the volume has been forgotten after the British version of Knopf, released in the early 60s, was out of circulation. Gracq, a pen name for Louis Poirier, was described as "the last of the all-round writers". "A professional geographical instructor, but a author with the capitol W, who rejected prizes - among them the renowned Prix Goncourt for Le Rivage des Syrtes in 1951 - never travelled on advertising trips and seldom gave infrequently.
Even the front page of the new Directions version (in the picture) is certainly one of the greatest design books of all times. The only novel Two Serious Ladies (1943) currently in Ecco Books' press, Jane Bowles is a novelist who is apparently meant to be riding a sinewave of happiness. She was plagued by insanity and her union with Paul Bowles was unorthodox to say the least, was already listed as one of the "undeservedly neglected" authors of the American Scholar in 1970 and is likely to be again in another 40 years.
Guatemalan novelist Augusto Monterroso is the creator of one of the briefest tales in the whole wide range of the written word, presented here: Though practically unheard of in English-speaking countries, Monterroso is regarded as a heavyweight of the boom generations, among them Julio Cortázar and Carlos Fuentes. Rosemary Tonks chose that no one should ever see her work.
As Neil Astley, editor of Bloodaxe Buchs, who recently gathered all of Tonk's poetry under the heading The Bedouin of London, says, Tong's denial of literature is due to a crises that caused her to denounce all but the Bible. Since then, it hasn't gone so well either, but perhaps his latest reincarnation in a pocket guide released by New Directions in July will bring this criminal abandoned novel to some of our readership.
Kharhadi (the alias of Larbi Layachi) is the second author on this shortlist to be associated with Paul Bowles. An uneducated herder and small narcotics dealer in Tangier, his tale of A Live full of Holes was taped, transliterated and rewritten by Bowles. This was the first volume to be published in the Maghreb, an Arabian language of North Africa, telling the history of Charhadi's lives in a fatalist and non-sentimental way.