It’s an odd thing to be a novelist, most especially a famous one. We can’t imagine the strangeness that must come with people having read (or not read, in some cases) the intimate details of your consciousness, thrown together onto a page to form some level of a cohesive story (also in some cases, not). We also can’t imagine what it would be like to be a highly influential author whose work most escapes the general populace, and is instead relegated to the dusty corridors of academia and the pages of graduate student cumulative projects. It’s these authors we’re going to speak on today, the type who are rarely cited as among the most popular of their time, yet consistently find themselves invoked in classrooms, essays and projects that matter only in English departments on college and university campuses. These are 10 influential authors that nobody bothers to read, for leisure purposes, that is.
10. Julian Barnes
Julian Barnes is a great curiosity as an author, someone who has been both wildly successful and critically acclaimed, yet rarely finds himself cited as one of the greatest authors of his generation. An English author who has won the Man Booker Prize (a big deal, which he won for his novel The Sense of an Ending), Barnes has produced consistently spectacular work since the publication of his first novel, Metroland, in 1980. A somewhat controversial author who is not afraid to break convention both stylistically and in content, Barnes has published several other critically lauded novels, including Flaubert’s Parrot (a master class in postmodern narrative, often used as a prime example of non-traditional story structure in university classrooms) and England, England (which is a pseudo-dystopian satire also shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize).