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Chrishayden

The 15 Most Overrated Contemporary Writers

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This goes back to a couple of other posts we’ve had here. One of the problems we have in getting the general public to read is that the teachers who are on the front line of exposure are not even reading “good” contemporary books. It's not just us folks.

From the comments:

It never ceases to amaze me that the schools still rely upon Catcher r in The Rye, The Great Gatsby, etc. in the literature classes. You mean to tell me that since the publication of those books there haven't been any seminal books about life and human nature that can be used in the schools?

A response:

As an English teacher, I'll let you in on the reasoning for the reliance on these books. Many English teachers are older women who have been teaching this for thirty or forty years. They have all their lesson plans done for these books and then many of them NEVER read new literature. Don't get me wrong, the books you referenced are fantastic books, but there are some new books that students might find engaging(Perks of Being a Wallflower, 100 Years of Solitude, Confederacy of Dunces) or even older books that students wouldn't be familiar with(A lot of newly translated Russian writers). But the problem is that teachers simply aren't reading either anymore or if they are, they are reading hacks like Nicholas Sparks or The Da Vinci Code.

Crystal

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I noticed Junot Diaz [http://aalbc.com/authors/junot_diaz.htm] on the list the sample quote used used by the critic to demonstrate Junot's mediocrity is:

"He wore his semi-kink hair in a Puerto Rican afro, rocked enormous Section 8 glasses--his "anti-pussy devices," Al and Miggs, his only friends, called them--sported an unappealing trace of mustache on his upper lip and possessed a set of close-set eyes that made him look somewhat retarded."

I actually like that line. :)

Though truth, be told I read about a 1/3 of the book. It did not interest me sufficiently to complete it.

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Junot has experienced the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat--from one of Granta's most promising new writers of the 21st Century to one of the Most Overrated in ten years--I bet he don't give a damn, though.

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Guest Mequel Scott

I noticed Junot Diaz [http://aalbc.com/authors/junot_diaz.htm] on the list the sample quote used used by the critic to demonstrate Junot's mediocrity is:

I actually like that line. :)

Though truth, be told I read about a 1/3 of the book. It did not interest me sufficiently to complete it.

There were definitely some good moments in the book...but it lost me as well. Nothing really to hold you.

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Junot is hip to this pimpgame--I remember when I met him at his reading back in the 90's here in Da Lou.

He had just been selected one of the Most Promising Writers in the Universe Under 40 by Granta Magazine. I started giving him the old soft soap about it. He stopped me.

"Most promising writer on the basis of one story?" he said. "C'mon. I don' pay attention to that sh*t. All I want to do is teach my classes and deal with my students."

Hip young man. He will go far.

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