10 Authors I Haven’t Read, But Want To

#TopTenTuesday meme is run by That Artsy Reader Girl (the original creator is The Broke and The Bookish) and I also saw it at What Cathy Read Next and Stuck in a Book. This “10 Authors” topic was actually the theme of the last week’s blogging event and, hopefully, I will be forgiven for giving it a go this week (this week’s topic is “Bookish Merchandise I’d Love to Own”).

I. Molière

I would like to explore the worlds of French playwrights and I am going to start with Molière. The Misanthrope, The Hypochondriac and Le Médecin malgré lui (“the doctor in spite of himself”), a satire on the 17th century French medicine, all sound like great (tragi)comedies.

II. Hiroko Oyamada

I cannot believe I am still to read any Oyamada because I have wanted to read her books for so long. I am excited to read both The Factory [2013] and The Hole [2014]. Oyamada’s writings have been compared to Franz Kafka and so her books are likely to be right up my alley.

III. Julio Cortazar

I already ranted elsewhere how badly I want to read Julio Cortázar’s masterpiece Hopscotch [1963], but its size and complexity do put me off. I am also curious about this Argentine-French writer’s short stories and he had left plenty.

IV. Vasily Grossman

Grossmann was born in a Jewish family in Ukraine (then Russian Empire) in 1905 and experienced the horrors of the World War II, working once as a war reporter and being one of the first to document what later became known as the Holocaust. His collection of fiction was once heavily censored, but is now available in translation. My goal is to read Grossman’s Life and Fate [1959] this summer.

V. Christine de Pizan

What can be more amazing than reading a novel penned by a woman who lived in the Middle Ages and tried to challenge female stereotypes? Though residing in France and writing in French, de Pizan was actually Italian (born in Venice), so her book The Book of the City of Ladies [1405] will be a lovely addition to my Italia Reading Challenge this year.

VI. Hiromi Kawakami

There are so many books by this author I want to read: The Nakano Thrift Shop [2005], Strange Weather in Tokyo [2001] and People From My Neighbourhood [2020], to name just a few. I am sure they will all be quirky reads and not dissimilar to other Japanese women I read and loved, including Yōko Tawada (The Last Children of Tokyo [2014]), Yōko Ogawa (The Memory Police [1994]) and Sayaka Murata (Convenience Store Woman [2016]).

VII. Richard Llewellyn

I am very interested in reading How Green Was My Valley [1939], a classic about a family living in a Welsh mining community, and I will probably be also up for any sequels.

VIII. Amy Harmon

I have had Harmon’s book What the Wind Knows [2019] on my TBR for quite some time and hopefully I will read it this year. This book is set in Ireland in 1921 and follows one American-born young woman Anne Gallagher. Harmon’s prose is much praised.

IX. Gene Wolfe

I may not blog about it often, but science-fiction/fantasy is the genre I also adore. Gene Wolfe’s books have been recommended to me and they sound just the sort of thought-provoking novels with “great psychological and spiritual depth” which I am bound to love.

X. Mieko Kawakami

Mieko Kawakami (no relation to Hiromi Kawakami) is another interesting writer from Japan. Her book Breasts and Eggs [2008] was a winner of the prestigious Akutagawa Prize, as well as New York Times Notable Book of the Year and one of TIME’s Best 10 Books of 2020. I am also interested to check out her novel Heaven [2009].

21 thoughts on “10 Authors I Haven’t Read, But Want To

  1. After reading ‘Everything Flows’ by Vasily Grossman which checks in at 208 pages, I wanted to read more of his work. However his two other works published here are ‘Life and Fate’ (880 pages) and ‘Stalingrad (1053 pages).
    Moliere’s plays are short and fun. Have you read ‘Candide’ by Voltaire? That is a short novel and one of the funniest ever.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the recommendations. I read Voltaire in high-school, but what I remember is another matter 🙂 I have already bought the Russian edition of Life and Fate to read and it does not look like it contains 880 pages! – but then I have not yet really opened it or check the font, perhaps it is extra small…

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  2. Reading Christine de Pizan is a wonderful idea, I’d like to try her work at some point too. Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate is one of my go-to Russian books from the Soviet era along with the two volumes of Nadezhda Mandelstam’s memoirs, Hope Against Hope and Hope Abandoned.

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  3. I’ve read Breasts and eggs and the first part I found very, very good. The second is great too, only a bit removed, I thought, from the rhythm and mood of the first. Nonetheless, the themes and approach I loved! I am soon to read The chosen and the beautiful. Hopefully, it will be just as interesting.

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  4. I’ve read Hiromi Kawakami’s Strange Weather in Tokyo, it was okay.
    Amy Harmon’s What the Wind Knows was a 5-star read for me so I hope you can get to it soon, I’m thrilled to know what your thoughts would be.
    I’ve also read Breasts and Eggs and also Heaven by Mieko Kawakami and both were okay, too.
    I have Everything Flows by Vasily Grossman, I hope to read it this year.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Such an interesting list. I have never read any of the authors, either, but always wanted to read “How Green was my Valley. So, thanbks for reminding me.
    I chose Nobel Prize winners for my TTT.

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    1. That is such a great idea to make a list of Nobel Prize winners! I usually love Nobel Prize Laureate books and they often become my favourites (Hesse, Camus, Pamuk, Ōe and Saramago, to name just a few), but there are also exceptions.

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      1. Thanks, Diana, I’m an avid Nobel Prize reader and, same as for you, a lot of them have become my favourites. Camus is my absolute favourite French author, Pamuk one of my favourite authors ever, I have read all his translated books. I found a Nobel Prize page (mentioned in my post) where people contribute reviews to the Nobel Prize books they read, so it was an obvious choice. And yes, there are definitely exceptions and if I happen to read them, I put them down to “experience”. 😉

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  6. For Moliere I’d recommend reading The Misanthrope and Tartuffe in the Oxford World Classics edition translated by Maya Slater (in rhyme). I’m not sure if you’re reading it in French or not – that might be tough given the age of the books. Both plays are excellent and surprisingly “modern”. You know my thoughts on Wolfe. It have actually checked out “Life and Fate” from the library twice and haven’t gotten too far – it’s pretty heavy on the negativity…. The rest of the authors I’m very impressed by your choices but I am not familiar with any of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great list! I love that there is a specific reason on why you want to read them, and I’m sure you’ll get to discover works of each of these authors sooner than you know it! I have only read Molière out of this list and quit enjoyed it – it is in many school curriculums in France so I probably didn’t enjoy it as much for that sole reason! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Speaking of school curriculums, so many books come to my mind that I once associated with “school boredom”, “tedious teaching” and that oppressive “must-read and analyse” tasks. Not that I didn’t like them, but I now view them differently. At times it so happens that only in our even late adulthood! we realise what treasures we really read and learnt in school!

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  8. Here I am about a month late commenting on your post. I “parked” it in a holds folder and haven’t opened the folder in some time.
    Molière is fabulous. His French farces are rollicking and amusing as heck. Strange Weather in Tokyo is very good too, and Harmon’s What the Wind Knows reminded me a great deal of the Outlander books.

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