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the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:Something I take for granted, all too often, is that people know the authors of which I speak.

I remember when I was 11 reading a novel by a New Zealand author, and some of the school scenes made little sense to me until I asked a pen pal of mine from Auckland about it. From that one silly sci-fi novel, I learned alot about how daily things were slightly different elsewhere. Thus kicked off my passion for international literature, in addition to American.

I've run into people in other countries who had no knowledge of Dr. Suess, Shel Silverstein, Mark Twain, Jack London, Edgar Allen Poe or Nathaniel Hawethorn...of which I concider major authors in my repetoire. Now, admittedly, these are American authors who, outside of literary circles, have limited importance to the casual reader internationally.

Anyone else run into this?
So...what authors do you take for granted that not everyone knows?
What "local" authors do you think everyone should read that you have encountered people not knowing about?

Am I the only book geek who thinks about these things? wink

Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
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Member Since: 30th May 2004
Total posts: 90
Posted:I have often wondered what people outside of my cultural environment read. I am currently going through high school in the middle of america, so I'm being exposed to all of the "classics", meaning influential American and English writers, little else.


Basu gasu bakuhatsu - because sometimes buses explode
Location: Angel's Landing, USA
Member Since: 21st Jul 2003
Total posts: 1584
Posted:Not really local, but one of my favorite writers is JW Goethe, and sadly I haven't seen many outside literature/english majors who have heard of him in the US. I'm not even an english major. frown

To do: More Firedrums 08 video?
Wildfire/US East coast fire footage
LA/EDC glow/fire footage
Fresno fire

<img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/ubbrollsmile.gif" alt="" />


Location: Melbourne - home of pirates
Member Since: 21st Feb 2006
Total posts: 255
Posted:Its kind of an assumption that when you're from Australia, which doesn't have the best known literary history, that people won't know who Miles Franklin, Patrick White and Henry Lawson are. I'm never surprised. People don't read beyond what they know most of the time.

While I know lots about the standard European canon (Chaucer, Shakespeare, and so on and so on...) and a little of American writers, I simply don't read enough to have a really solid grip on a lot of international literature.

"You've gone from Loey the Wonder Lesbian to everyone wondering if you are a lesbian." - Shadowman

Yesterday is yesterday. If we try to recapture it, we will only lose tomorrow.


Location: Brisbane
Member Since: 26th Sep 2005
Total posts: 107
Posted: Written by: wonderloey

Its kind of an assumption that when you're from Australia, which doesn't have the best known literary history, that people won't know who Miles Franklin, Patrick White and Henry Lawson are. I'm never surprised. People don't read beyond what they know most of the time.

i always recomend Tim Winton's 'Cloudstreet' to travellers as quintessential australian literature. his use of the australian venacular is suburb, and it's a brilliant novel no matter where you are from. but i don't think any of them had ever heard of it.

i love to read books - not sure all of it could be considered literature - from a different cultural perspective. i find tom wolfe's comment on americal society fascinating for the most part, and there is a wonderful irish writer called niall williams who's writing is illuminating.

"A Thnead's a fine thing that all people need"
Dr Suess


geek, level 1
Location: everywhere
Member Since: 15th Dec 2002
Total posts: 5300
Posted:bruce chatwin biggrin

my favourite travel writer is eric newby, a stunningly british gentleman...

Holistic Spinner (I hope)


Still wiggling
Location: Belfast
Member Since: 22nd Oct 2002
Total posts: 5967

Songlines is one of my favourites...


Getting to the other side smile

Location: floating about
Member Since: 29th Jun 2005
Total posts: 149
Posted:hmmm... I come from Portugal, where the poet Fernando Pessoa is revered as a genius (which he is!) but elsewhere I've met only a couple of people who know of him. He wrote in Portuguese but also in English, and here is one of his poems:



I had a revelation not from high,
But from below, when thy skirt awhile lifted
Betrayed such promise that I am not gifted
With words that may that view well signify.

And even if my verse that thing would try,
Hard were it, if that word came to be sifted,
To find a word that rude would not have shifted
There from the cold hand of Morality.

The gaze is nought; mere sight no mind hath wrecked.
But oh! sweet lady, beyond what is seen
What things may guess or hint at Disrespect?!

Sacred is not the beauty of a queen...
I from thine ankle did as much suspect
As you from this suspect what I mean.

Lovely, no?

Sorry, rant over. Keep the suggestions coming, I love finding new authors smile

c'est pas nous qui sommes la rue, c'est la rue ktanou!

1st official camden town (uk) meet 21st october! see the events bit

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