Who is the world’s greatest living novelist?

Is there someone whose body of work overall elevates them to No. 1 on your list? Or is there someone who has that one perfect novel and it doesn’t matter if the rest is dross?

My daughter would say Shelley Moore Thomas. I don’t agree.

We’ll be talking more about this on April 9. Our guests are John Freeman, editor of Granta, and Marjorie Kehe, Christian Science Monitor books editor.

What do you think?

Stephanie Curtis, social media host

  • To say there is a greatest is like saying there is a best composer, athlete, poet, singer, songwriter, the best person. Its all circumstantial and to even attempt to name a best is to discredit the works of other amazing artists and writers by tarnishing their names and works, simply because they may not be popular among the masses or in tight literary circles. Any person who can create something is amazing and have put themselves on the path to immortality through text.

  • stephanie

    It is all circumstantial. There are novelists who are out of print; there are writers who’ve never been translated into English and, thus, not available to the majority of our audience; and there are writers that most of us just have never read.

    But who cares? This is just a fun exercise. No tiaras will be awarded. No cash rewards. We don’t need PricewaterhouseCoopers.

    People will name their favorite writers and explain why they love or admire them.

  • kim

    Well, I’m going to play the game and name Stephen King. He’s not just a “horror” writer. He’s an amazing story teller and deserves to be known as much for the quality of his work as for the uniqueness of his imagination. He can create a world and draw in a reader like no one else I can think of. (JMO, of course.)

  • Steve

    Michael Chabon and/or Neil Gaimon. If you want imagination, fantasy, and wit, go with Gaimon. Chabon writes like a poet – if I was capable of writing I would want to write like Chabon. Both are my favorite writers.

  • Stephanie

    Good choices. All classic storytellers.

    I have King’s JKF assassination book on my short list. After I finish The World on Fire and 10,000 Saints. My mother-in-law was reading it on our family vacation. She barely looked up from her Nook for 2 days.