Monday, February 19, 2007

Marcus Sakey

I've recently finished Marcus Sakey's excellent debut novel, The Blade Itself. If you like quality crime writing, check it out.

A few months ago I clicked on Marcus Sakey's online bio and
was struck by how many of the authors he name-checked on his site that are also among my favorites: Elmore Leonard, James Ellroy, Lehane, Palahniuk, Cormac McCarthy, Pete Dexter, Ian McEwan, etc etc.

These are not only writers I like: I've read every novel they've written (OK, maybe two or three have slipped by), some three or four times.

Something else caught my attention: only one woman writer made Marcus's list.

Now, I don't expect most people who love Ellroy to love Penelope Fitzgerald--in fact, I once posted an item saying just that. But when I think about a fine genre-busting novel like Mystic River, I also think of (say) Patricia Highsmith's great The Talented Mr. Ripley. When I think of Pelecanos' Washington DC, I'm reminded of Laura Lippman just up the highway in Baltimore.

When I think of McEwan--whose Atonement may be the best novel I've read that was written in the last quarter-century--I'm reminded that I liked Kate Atkinson's Case Histories better than McEwan's Saturday.

So I asked Marcus: why so few women on his favorite authors list?

Read his answer.