10 Important Contemporary Authors
Contemporary literature is a vast group of written works produced from a specific time in history through the current age. This literary era defines a time period, but it also describes a particular style and quality of writing. Some see this period as an extension of postmodern literature, but most refer to it as a literary era of its own. When looking at how trauma is represented in literature and the arts, we tend to focus on the weight of the past. In this book, Amir Eshel suggests that this retrospective gaze has trapped us in a search for reason in the madness of the twentieth century’s catastrophes at the expense of literature’s prospective vision. British writer Ian McEwan started winning literary awards with his first book, a collection of short stories, “First Love, Last Rites” and never stopped.
Death is communion.” The inhabitants of contemporary fiction are often hermetically sealed off from contact with each other. Adams was a staff writer for The Washington Post and has a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting. Her first novel is the story of Algerian refugee Aziz Arkoun, who finally arrives in Boston in 1999 after three attempts and 52 days in a tanker. But the life he finds—constant suspicion, hardship, and ambiguity—is not so much better than the one he left. After World War II, the world had a different perspective on things. It changed rapidly and literature changed with it, almost as rapidly, despite the fact that some authors held onto their existing beliefs.
Leo Braudy’s discussion of “Realists, Naturalists and Novelists of Manners” and Mark Shechner’s of Jewish-American writers are distinguished for incisive thinking and fine writing. Braudy remarks a considerable narrowing of the scope of naturalism post World War II, though the yearning for a total vision of American remains. Braudy distinguishes the novel of manners from the naturalist novel by the former’s emphasis on a realism that is internal or psychological, rather than external; it makes up in depth what it lacks in scope.
Try to read at least one previous publication to get a better idea of what the editor would like to see. Pieter Vermeulen is Assistant Professor of American literature at the University of Leuven, Belgium. He is the author of Romanticism after the Holocaust and the co-editor of, most recently, Institutions of World Literature. Already a contemporary classic, Allende’s magical first novel is a sweeping, delightful epic that follows three generations of the Trueba family. Allende’s father was the first cousin of Salvador Allende, the Chilean president overthrown by Pinochet.
The novel was a bestseller and a finalist for the National Book Award. This popular novel tells the story of a young Nigerian refugee and the English woman whose life she changes when she shows up after two years behind razor wire in a detention center—and after their first horrific meeting on an African beach. There’s a lot of horror in this book, yes, but there’s a lot of goodness, too. Another parable about a dictatorship that was banned by its country of origin, written by an author author who wound up seeking asylum elsewhere—go figure.