The Best American Fiction of 25 Years?

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The New York Times asks what the best work of American fiction in the last 25 years is. The winner is Toni Morrison’s Beloved, with runners-up writers Philip Roth, Cormac McCarthy, John Updike and Don DeLillo. Now consider that the people voting include “prominent writers, critics, editors and other literary sages.”

While I have read and enjoyed Updike and Morrison, and have McCarthy of my to-read list, I lean more towards American writers like erotic humorist Tom Robbins, offstream genius Thomas Pynchon, fascinating crime novelist Elmore Leonard, amongst others.

Of slipstream, sci-fi or fantasy authors, Philip K. Dick is my favourite. However, the bulk of his work was written more than 25 years ago. On the other hand, Jack Womack, author of the colourful Elvissey and several other novels is a close second. Elvissey is about a future Earth society that worships Elvis. They invent a time machine to go back into an alternate-Earth 1950s to kidnap that Elvis and make him a living deity. Kooky sounding, but like all of Womack’s novels, a scathing commentary on North American society.

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