Who’s your favorite author that other people are NOT reading? The one you want to evangelize for, the one you would run popularity campaigns for? The author that, so far as you’re concerned, everyone should be reading–but that nobody seems to have heard of. You know, not JK Rowling, not Jane Austen, not Hemingway–everybody’s heard of them. The author that you think should be that famous and can’t understand why they’re not…
This is relatively easy for me — except that there are inherent problems for continuing readership. My pick would be Hans Fallada. The problem is not only that Fallada is a German author but he’s been dead since 1947. Fortunately, Melville House started releasing his works, with Every Man Dies Alone, my favorite novel last year, being translated for the first time.
I read two other of his books last year, both of which were quite good but suffered simply in comparison to Every Man Dies Alone. I am eagerly anticipating Wolf Among Wolves, which is set for a March release.
Fallada is neither a stunning stylistic writer nor did he lead a new literary wave. He just wrote straightforward, well-structured and enticing novels that caused you to stop and consider the characters and their situations. What more would anyone ask from their favorite “unknown” author?
What I like in a good author is not what he says, but what he whispers.
Logan Pearsall Smith, Afterthoughts