Over at the Danforth Review they are discussing essential fiction and 22 or so writers, Canadian writers I hasten to add, have added their 10 or so “must reads”. I couldn’t resist compiling my own. Particularly since, as usual, there were about 4 women in 27. (God this is getting so boring...you'd think there were no women who wrote, no women anywhere...) Anyhow, here it is. The list is alphabetical and assumes people have read Checkhov and Munro. If not I would have to add them—and of course it's a partial list. I’m already thinking of people Richard Ford, Clarice Lispector...as usual right across the spread…in any case...
Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger & Tonto...
Raymond Carver, Where I'm calling from
Lydia Davis, Break it Down
Junot Diaz, Drown
Mary Gaitskill, anything
Sheila Heti, The Middle Stories
Etgar Keret, "Crazy Glue" (anything really “Crazy Glue” and “Fatso” are favorites).
Jhumpa Lahiri, The Interpreter of Maladies
Lorrie Moore, Like Life, Birds of America
George Saunders, pretty much anything in small doses only!
Gertrude Stein, "Miss Furr & Miss Skeene"
Linda Svendsen, "White Shoulders"
Virginia Woolf, "The Mark on the Wall" or "Kew Gardens"
I have to note that this is "short fiction". The novel wouldn't necessarily be the same list, though there are people who would be on both.