Writing off the radar screen
With the explosion of the number of published books and the fact that time remains constant (a mere 24-hours a day) and other temptations pressing, it is not surprising that many talented writers are little known in the United States. That includes authors who have won serious awards (Pete Dexter and Larry Heinemann each of whom won a National Book Award) or have hundreds of thousands of copies in Europe (Michel Houellebecq)
They are included on a list of underrated writers.
Michel Houellebecq’s The Platform is set in Thailand and was as huge commercial success in France. Lots of sex, anti-capitalism rants, death, violence and more sex. Houellebecqu was also tried (and acquitted) in the French courts for insulting Islam. Larry Heinemann’s Paco’s Story is one of the most powerful novels to come out of the Vietnam War. When I lived in New York I attended the National Book Award the year that Pete Dexter won for Paris Trout, The novel is bleak, socially astute that climbs the dark corners of noir.
I can’t think of any better holiday present that these three books for someone who loves reading.