Thursday, January 21, 2010

Best of the Decade

No, no Biblioasis book made anyone's best of the decade, or not that I've come across. No Biblioasis author even made a best of the decade list, which is, in my view, a travesty. Michael Carbert over at the online magazine Encore Lit does attempt to remedy this. He chooses Terry Griggs's Rogue's Wedding and Russell Smith's Muriella Pent as being among the most egregiously overlooked books of the decade. And I would have to absolutely agree with him. Both of these books remain among my all-time favourite novels, and rank as among the best Canadian novels, in my opinion, ever published. They are two of the few books I'll probably re-read in the not-too-distant future.

Some other picks, judged by a scan of my bookshelves, that rank as among my favourite books published this past decade. I don't know if any of them made a Best of the Decade list. All of them quite easily could have:

Annabel Lyon's Oxygen
Clark Blaise's Selected Stories (Four Volumes, published by the Porcupine's Quill)
Ray Robertson's Gently Down the Stream
Caroline Adderson's Pleased to Meet You
Mark Anthony Jarman's 19 Knives
Lisa Moore's Open
Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies
Alistair MacLeod's Island
Leonard Michael's Collected Stories
Horacio Castellanos Moya's Senselessness.
Alice Munro's Hateship Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage (or almost anything else by her)

Certainly, this list overlooks many, including books we've published here, books I've borrowed, books in one of the dozens of boxes still in a storage locker, books I've taken from the library, books I've loaned out and lost. Not to mention non-fiction and poetry. And it is heavily slanted to short fiction: counting Rogue's Wedding and Muriella Pent, 9 of 13 titles are short fiction collections. But it will suffice in a pinch.

Carbert, though, is right: Griggs and Smith: if you haven't read them, do yourself the favour.

No comments: