I’m the first to admit that I’m not a well-read person by academic standards, which is neither a confession or a boast, just fact. I prefer to read light genre fiction by new and unknown writers, and the occasional mainstream novel. But I was intrigued when I came across an article by a writer named Anis Shivani who wrote an essay in The Huffington Post about sixteen writers (including poets) he considers overrated. Most of these writers are Pulitzer Prize winners whom I’ve never heard of, except for Amy Tan. What was particularly interesting, though, was why Shivani thought these sixteen writers are overrated.
If I understood his article correctly, he believes that there are no real vocal critics anymore and those who do review have been reduced to nothing more than “blurbists”. The academics controlling the growing number of creative writing programs in the U.S. have no real interest in contemporary literature except to trash it. Also, these same people consider their work superior to much that is out there. Shivani also believes that these same academics are fostering a “neutered multiculturalism” and politically correct stance in order to keep their jobs, their awards, and possibly future grants. Is he right? I don’t know, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.
Shivani has much more to say and if you’re curious about those sixteen names, you can find them through the link below. To be fair, he also plans to come up with a list of sixteen underrated writers. Gee, I wonder if any mystery writers will be among them? Here’s the link: