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General Archive > Classics of the future?

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message 1: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 4177 comments Which contemporary authors/books do you think will become future classics? Which current authors will we still be discussing in thirty years time?


message 2: by LauraT (new)

LauraT (laurata) | 13416 comments Mod
Difficult question ...


message 3: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 4177 comments I know, I'll have to have a good think about this myself. I'll start the ball rolling with Margaret Atwood.


message 4: by Holly (new)

Holly (hollycoulson) I'd like to think she would be. Especially as a 'modern dystopia' classic, much like 1984 and


message 5: by Holly (new)

Holly (hollycoulson) Urgh stupid iPhone app.

*and Brave New World. I think she definitely should become a classic author. Her writing is amazing!


message 6: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Do you realise this thread has 5 posts in the first 10 minutes? Is that some sort of a record?


message 7: by Dhanaraj (new)

Dhanaraj Rajan | 2962 comments On Margaret Atwood, I too have no doubts. Her books would surely be classics.


message 8: by LauraT (new)

LauraT (laurata) | 13416 comments Mod
Think so Jean! But still I have to think about it!!!!


message 9: by Holly (new)

Holly (hollycoulson) I love how there's so many people here who loved her. I've spent the last 2 years (when I first read one of her books) raving to myself about how awesome she is. No-one listened. Now I get to talk about her all day long, it's wonderful!


message 10: by Dhanaraj (new)

Dhanaraj Rajan | 2962 comments I have not read many of Atwood's books. I had read only THE HANDMAID'S TALE. And based on that I can still claim that her books would be classics. If not all the books, surely THE HANDMAID'S TALE will make it.


message 11: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) When "The Handmaid's Tale" was chosen as a GCSE text a few years ago, apparently some male students complained about having to read it, saying it was a "girls' book". At the time I despaired, but perhaps after all it did them, some good! It is an extraordinary novel. Has anybody seen the film too?


message 12: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 4177 comments Jean wrote: "When "The Handmaid's Tale" was chosen as a GCSE text a few years ago, apparently some male students complained about having to read it, saying it was a "girls' book". At the time I despaired, but p..."

I didn't realise there was a film.


message 13: by Amber (new)

Amber (amberterminatorofgoodreads) I wonder if Janet Evanovich and Kathy Reichs will become classic authors in like 30 years or so because they've come out with a lot of books. and Kathy Reichs is the author of the Bones and Virals book series which I like her young adult series. The Stephanie Plum series has been out like from the 90s to now.


message 14: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Yes 1990 - Natasha Richardson as Offred link here


message 15: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 15985 comments Here are a few I think will still be read 30 (or 100!) years from now:

The Kite Runner
The Color Purple
One Hundred Years of Solitude & Love in the Time of Cholera
probably John Updike...

and maybe Sarah's Key

For mysteries, I suspect that Janet Evanovich will be somewhat like Rex Stout or even Clyde B. Clason is today - read by mystery buffs but not well-known to the younger crowd. Whereas I think Sue Grafton and/or Sara Paretsky will be more well-known as innovators of the female PI genre. I think Elizabeth Peters will still be read...


sonny (no longer in use) (satyrica) | 33 comments at the moment I think the secret history will become one, less than zero, handmaids tale and fightclub


message 17: by Jenny (last edited Nov 16, 2013 11:58PM) (new)

Jenny (jeoblivion) | 4869 comments Judy wrote: "It would be nice to see the works of some of the non-Western writers such as Rohinton Mistry,Amitov Ghosh, Haruki Murakami and Chinua Achebebe remembered."

Same here. I really hope they will be. Same goes for Mrs. Atwood. I would also like to see José Saramago remembered.

Quite a few of the works of Philip Roth and John Updike are already considered modern classics and I guess they will still be read 100 years from now.

I also think The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster will be a book that people will continue to read.


message 18: by Alannah (new)

Alannah Clarke (alannahclarke) | 11973 comments Mod
I think J.K Rowling will be classed as classics mainly because of its popularity.


message 19: by Holly (new)

Holly (hollycoulson) Then again, I don't think Harry Potter would be classed as an actual classic, like we regard Pride and Prejudice or War and Peace. I think it would be classed as a Children's Classic, but I think the writing isn't good enough to be considered one of the big-time classics.


message 20: by Alannah (new)

Alannah Clarke (alannahclarke) | 11973 comments Mod
Holly wrote: "Then again, I don't think Harry Potter would be classed as an actual classic, like we regard Pride and Prejudice or War and Peace. I think it would be classed as a Children's Classic, but I think t..."

No I don't think her writing is that great either but it's the characters that more than make up for it. I understand Pride and Prejudice is a classic but I don't particularly like it myself.


message 21: by Alannah (new)

Alannah Clarke (alannahclarke) | 11973 comments Mod
Jean wrote: "When "The Handmaid's Tale" was chosen as a GCSE text a few years ago, apparently some male students complained about having to read it, saying it was a "girls' book". At the time I despaired, but p..."

I always thought the Handmaid's Tale was classed as a modern classic such as To Kill A Mockingbird, 1984 or Animal Farm.


message 22: by Holly (new)

Holly (hollycoulson) I count it as a modern classic, personally.


message 23: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Me too. It is interesting, that what is popular does not always become a classic. There was some real dross popular in Victorian times, but thankfully not much has made it to "classic" status. I can't honestly believe that much of what we find enjoyable now will truly "last."


message 24: by Holly (new)

Holly (hollycoulson) It will be interesting to see in say 30 years, what is still around and being read. I wonder if we'll see old editions be displayed in auctions or let battered in second-hand stores.


message 25: by LauraT (new)

LauraT (laurata) | 13416 comments Mod
Even if I don't like the whole of his books, I think that Philip Roth will be read in centuries to come. Not the same can be said for all the nobel prize


message 26: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (jeoblivion) | 4869 comments True, some seem to not be read at all though like J.M.G. Le Clézio they only won recently.


message 27: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 4177 comments Alannah wrote: "Holly wrote: "Then again, I don't think Harry Potter would be classed as an actual classic, like we regard Pride and Prejudice or War and Peace. I think it would be classed as a Children's Classic,..."

I think Harry Potter may well be a children's classic. I don't think children are bothered how well written the book is, it's all about the story, hence the popularity of Harry Potter, and certainly Twilight.


message 28: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) You may have a point there, Shirley. We all think of "Peter Pan" as a classic, but it is always a retelling of J M Barrie's play!


message 29: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 15985 comments Jean wrote: "You may have a point there, Shirley. We all think of "Peter Pan" as a classic, but it is always a retelling of J M Barrie's play!"

I agree with Shirley too.

If a book appeals to people (children or adults) and is still being read 30 or 50 or 100 years after being written, then to me it is a classic regardless of how 'well-written' it is. I don't think Agatha Christie was a literary genius but her books are classics because her plots and characters are so well done.


message 30: by LauraT (new)

LauraT (laurata) | 13416 comments Mod
Leslie wrote: "Jean wrote: "You may have a point there, Shirley. We all think of "Peter Pan" as a classic, but it is always a retelling of J M Barrie's play!"

I agree with Shirley too.

If a book appeals to pe..."


Me too!


message 31: by Anastasia (new)

Anastasia (universe_beats) | 401 comments I hope that Chuck Palahniuk is only a trend of nowadays, I can't recover from the reading of Haunted, it was too awful. And Fight Club doesn't drive me crazy at all..


message 32: by Pink (last edited Nov 18, 2013 03:00PM) (new)

Pink I agree that some books will stand the test of time and are classics for this reason. While others seem worthy of the title 'classic' because they are great works of literature. For me there are few modern (very late 20th or 21st century) books that I've read and thought worthy of becoming a future classic.
Some I really liked are
The Book Thief
Cloud Atlas
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Time Traveler's Wife
The Kite Runner
though I'm not sure I'd describe any of them as future classics.


message 33: by Katy (new)

Katy | 422 comments I think Cormac McCarthy and Don Delillo will be classics. Both authors are very dark. Sadly, I think that it reflects our time, especially post 9-11


message 34: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (jeoblivion) | 4869 comments Katy, I agree about both of them, at least I hope they will be. I think I would add Coetzee to this list as well. Which makes me realize: we are a bit heavy on male writers aren't we?

Apart from Margaret Atwood: who else?


message 35: by LauraT (new)

LauraT (laurata) | 13416 comments Mod
Jenny wrote: "Katy, I agree about both of them, at least I hope they will be. I think I would add Coetzee to this list as well. Which makes me realize: we are a bit heavy on male writers aren't we?

Apart from M..."


Katy wrote: "I think Cormac McCarthy and Don Delillo will be classics. Both authors are very dark. Sadly, I think that it reflects our time, especially post 9-11"

I don't particularly like De Lillo I have to admit. While McCarthy is more to my taste. But "taste" is the kye word!!!


message 36: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 4177 comments what about Ian McEwan or Julian Barnes?


message 37: by LauraT (new)

LauraT (laurata) | 13416 comments Mod
Definitly some of McEwan's novels will be read in years to come, Atonement for one ...


message 38: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) zzzzz - sorry folks, but...

This reminds me of a thread I started up elsewhere once. So many "good" modern novels have little or no humour, and are sometimes a bit of a chore to get through, worthy though they are. Do you agree? And if so, why is this, when our accepted classics are chock-a-block with wit and humour?


message 39: by Dhanaraj (last edited Nov 19, 2013 03:32AM) (new)

Dhanaraj Rajan | 2962 comments @ Shirley, I love Julian Barnes' writing. And I do not want to claim that his books will be future classics for the fear that I am terribly prejudiced. But to hear his name from others makes me happy.


message 40: by Chatterjak (last edited Nov 19, 2013 03:48AM) (new)

Chatterjak | 89 comments I agree Jean, I think modern taste is more geared towards the dark(er) side. Possible authors think they won't be taken as seriously if they're too humorous? Anything uplifting or enthusiastic seems to be considered 'light' or unsophisticated, which is a shame. I do quite like 'dark' novels, but a few more humorous or even (dare I say) cheerful ones - wouldn't go amiss!

I haven't read any Julian Barnes - what would you recommend?


message 41: by Chatterjak (last edited Nov 19, 2013 04:42AM) (new)

Chatterjak | 89 comments Jenny wrote: "Katy, I agree about both of them, at least I hope they will be. I think I would add Coetzee to this list as well. Which makes me realize: we are a bit heavy on male writers aren't we?

Apart from M..."


How about:

Sarah Waters, Hilary Mantel, Kate Atkinson, Jeanette Winterson, Fay Weldon, Mary Wesley, Zadie Smith, Monica Ali, Alice Walker, Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Annie Proulx, Maeve Binchy, Edna O'Brien, Philipa Gregory, Donna Tartt, Angela Carter, Iris Murdoch, Lionel Shriver, A.M. Homes, Eleanor Catton, Alice Munro, P.D. James, Rose Tremain, Jung Chang, Dodie Smith, Barbara Pym, Barbara Kingsolver, Margaret Drabble, Muriel Spark, Jean Rhys, Jhumpa Lahiri, Joyce Carol Oates, Stella Duffy.

Far from a comprehensive list, but it's somewhere to start. I realise some of these are not strictly contemporary, I included them because they're probably not considered 'classics' just yet - or are they????? :)


message 42: by Dhanaraj (new)

Dhanaraj Rajan | 2962 comments Chatterjak wrote: "I agree Jean, I think modern taste is more geared towards the dark(er) side. Possible authors think they won't be taken as seriously if they're too humorous? Anything uplifting or enthusiastic se..."

I have not read all of Julian Barnes' works. But among the works that I have read I would recommend The Sense of an Ending and if you like Gustav Flaubert then you can also read Barnes' Flaubert's Parrot. His latest autobiographical work Levels of Life is one of the best works on grief in the recent times.


message 43: by Chatterjak (new)

Chatterjak | 89 comments Thank you Dhanaraj, I haven't read any Flaubert - I'm shockingly behind in reading the classics, although I've started to try to read one a month this year, so I may give your first suggestion a go first. I like variety, and try to keep discovering new authors (new to me anyway!) all the time. I might read The Sense of an Ending as my next read, and I'll let you know what I think. Thank you for the recommendation!


message 44: by LauraT (new)

LauraT (laurata) | 13416 comments Mod
Jean wrote: "zzzzz - sorry folks, but...

This reminds me of a thread I started up elsewhere once. So many "good" modern novels have little or no humour, and are sometimes a bit of a chore to get through, wor..."


YES!!!! I DO agree!


message 45: by Chatterjak (new)

Chatterjak | 89 comments Perhaps we should have a thread with suggestions for less depressing/dark novels?


message 46: by Bionic Jean (last edited Nov 19, 2013 05:26AM) (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Jackie - Your list makes me feel very humble as I have not read half of these authors, though know of them of course. And that is why I am on Goodreads!

As for Julian Barnes, I read "Arthur and George". Here's my review. It was good, but dark and very upsetting in places if you are an animal-lover. And I'm glad I found that again, as it links to Jenny's "Thread of Words", as that's where I used the word "eponymous"!!

I've also read A History of the World in 10½ Chapters, but that was a while ago and I can't really remember it. So I guess I should read some more Julian Barnes?

Thanks for agreeing Laura! Actually after my previous post I had begun to wonder if it is just English language classics which have that wit and drollery. Some French and particularly some German classics are seriously serious aren't they?


message 47: by Chatterjak (new)

Chatterjak | 89 comments Seriously serious, I like that! I'm nowhere near qualified to comment on that though, ask me in another five years when I've caught up on the classics a bit (I hope!).

I've only read sixteen of those authors myself Jean! All of them are on my TBR list (roughly speaking I've read the first half - ish!) now I just need more hours in the day, & to be able to read three books at once & I'll get on fine!

I just thought throwing out a few names might spark some memories & discussion :)


message 48: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Of course. And I do need to read more World Classics too, even though it will be in translation.

I wonder if there's anything in the thought that you could read an audiobook subconsciously as you sleep...


message 49: by Chatterjak (new)

Chatterjak | 89 comments I think that may work like studying for a test by putting a textbook under your pillow ;)


message 50: by David (new)

David Msomba (kaleshi) I think the following

Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini


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