Behold! The Second Unread Authors Challenge is upon us!
Last year I ran this challenge from September to February, and the premise was this: almost all of us have authors who we have long meant to read, but somehow never gotten around to (you can see a long list of mine at the bottom right of the blog). Perhaps you have always been intrigued but intimidated by their work. Perhaps "required reading" and your favorite authors have taken up most of your time. Perhaps they have been sitting on your shelves for years, continually trumped by new fascinations. Well, now is their time.
- The challenge will run from August 1, 2008 to January 31, 2009. You may join at any time before or during those six months.
- During those six months, read at least SIX books by an author whose work you have never read before.
- You may choose six different "unread" authors to introduce yourself to, or you may choose just one or two and explore their work in greater depth.
- Authors may be drawn from any genre of literature. The only requirement is that they be authors whose work you substantially regret not having read yet.
- Your choices may overlap with other challenges you have underway.
Last year I failed spectacularly in my goals (amidst, in my own defense, the madness the surrounded the completion of my dissertation), so I will address my list this year with new found zeal. Many parts of my lists will remain the same from last year, although I was spurred on (during at after the period of the challenge) to read a number of authors from my list.
I list six authors on the primary list below with (in parentheses) ideas about which book I might start with). After that I have listed a number of "extra credit" or alternate authors/works.
- Laurence Sterne (Tristram Shandy)
- Friedrich Durrenmatt (The Physicians or The Visit)
- Orhan Pamuk (My Name is Red)
- Richard Powers (The Gold Bug Variations)
- China Mieville (Perdido Street Station)
- Doris Lessing (The Golden Notebook)
- John Fowles (The Magus)
- Joyce Carol Oates (Bellefleur)
- Stendhal (The Red and the Black)
- Iris Murdoch (The Black Prince)
- Nadine Gordimer (Burger's Children)
- Tim Winton (Cloudstreet or Dirt Music)
- Peter Carey (Oscar and Lucinda or True History of the Kelly Gang)
- Marilynne Robinson (Gilead)
- Caryl Phillips (Crossing the River)
- J.M. Coetzee (Disgrace)