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Great literature by great contemporary authors

e. verrillo
The list author says: "This is my "must read" list (as opposed to my "highly recommended but not absolutely necessary for your survival" list). These are all well known works by authors who deserve the prizes they have won (which I can't say for every author who has won an award). Needless to say, none of these books is for the faint of heart. They are, every one of them, wonderful pieces of "literature," which means they are intended to enrich your life, not kill time while you're waiting for your flight to Rio. (Any one of these books will make you miss your plane.)"
My Name Is Red
My Name Is Red
"A highly original and totally absorbing murder mystery about Persian miniaturists during the Ottoman Empire. Pamuk is a truly monumental writer who is not afraid to break new ground."
Memoirs of a Geisha
Memoirs of a Geisha
"Arthur Golden first wrote the fascinating story of Japan's last geisha in third person, He decided he didn't like it, threw out all 900 pages and started again. The result is one of the tightest and most moving pieces of literature you'll ever read."
Cold Mountain: A Novel
Cold Mountain: A Novel
"Frazier is one of those writers who can completely suck you into his world with seemingly no effort. One minute you're reading, the next minute you're smack dab in the middle of the Civil War. You won't want this book to end."
Shipping News: A Novel (Scribner Classics)
Shipping News: A Novel (Scribner Classics)
"The first fifty pages of this book are hard going, but stick with it. The book will indeed absorb you with its truly memorable characters and gripping story. This is the best of Annie Proulx, by the way, so start here."
The Ground Beneath Her Feet: A Novel
The Ground Beneath Her Feet: A Novel
"Salmon Rushdie is one of the great novelists of our time, and this is one of his best books. It did not achieve the fame of The Satanic Verses, because nobody threatened to kill him for it. But this book is a tour de force in its own right."
One Hundred Years of Solitude (Harper Perennial Modern Classics)
One Hundred Years of Solitude (Harper Perennial Modern Classics)
"If you haven't read this book yet, go right out and get a copy. I confess that I have not read any of Garcia Marquez' books in English, but even in translation, he is still bound to be one of the most powerful voices in modern literature."
The Blind Assassin: A Novel
The Blind Assassin: A Novel
"Margaret Atwood surpassed herself with this book. It is beautifully crafted, absorbing, and evocative. The prose is stunning."
White Noise (Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century)
White Noise (Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century)
"White Noise is a brilliant, scathing, darkly humorous look at contemporary American society written by a true genius. "All plots move deathwards" in this book, so don't pick this book up if you need one (i.e. a plot) (Or if you are chronically depressed.) This book will either change how you see life in the US, or confirm what you knew all along."