This week's Literary Blog Hop question, sponsored by The Blue Bookcase, is this: What literary title (fiction or nonfiction) do you love that has been under-appreciated? ... What quiet masterpiece do you want more readers to know?For recent publications, I'm an ardent proselytizer advocate for Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese, which has everything a serious reader could want: it's epic in size and scope, beautifully written, and full of grand tragedy & passion. All set against the background of important world events, it's the story of one family's struggles with betrayal and abandonment and trust, especially between brothers. It's also peppered throughout with a good bit of medical philosophy & ethics. It's well-paced, fully developed, and moves from India to Ethiopia to the United States and back again. It is almost the perfect novel, and for my money it's the best English-language novel published in the last five years, possibly the last decade.
I have a long list of 20th century-or-earlier publications that I don't feel have received the attention they deserve, whether they're books overshadowed by an author's more famous title, or whether the author himself or herself is mostly overlooked. Among them are Jane Austen's Mansfield Park, Jim Harrison's The Legends of the Fall, L. M. Montgomery's Emily series, Ron Hansen's The Chess Garden, Eudora Welty's One Writer's Beginnings, David James Duncan's The River Why, Cormac McCarthy's Outer Dark, Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye. I really could go on, but since I need to head to work, I think I'll end it there.
What about y'all?