Alex Massie

James Wood’s Post-War Library

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Via Terry Teachout, the Elegant Variation republishes a list of books written between 1945 and 1985 that James Wood recommends you read. What's notable is not so much the list itself as the extent to which it contradicts the view that Wood takes a particularly docrtinaire view of fiction. True, he may be most famous for his critique of "hysterical-realism" but there's more to him than that and, as the list makes clear, there are some novelists after Flaubert and James that he likes. Wood's detractors  - of whom there are many - might be surprised to find Pynchon, Vonnegut, Rushdie et al on the list. For that matter, I'm surprised to see The Satanic Verses make the cut...

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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