PWxyz’s Most Underrated Writers

Craig Morgan Teicher -- August 10th, 2010

We had a huge response to our request for the names of writers you thought were unjustly underrated.  Here are my favorite fifteen from among your suggestions, listed in alphabetical order (why rank them any other way).  You may not agree with my favorites, but that’s ok–you can post your own fifteen on the Internet too.  To see the long list of 60 writers that PWxyz readers submitted, click past the break.

Now all that’s left to do is give these writers their due–go buy their books, talk ‘em up to your friends and enemies, and make them the literary titans they deserve to be!

Here are the top 15 Underrated Writers According to PWxyz (in alphabetical order)

  1. Donald Antrim
  2. Jo Ann Beard
  3. Anthony Doerr
  4. Deborah Eisenberg
  5. Stephen Elliott
  6. Steve Erickson
  7. Brian Evenson
  8. Percival Everett
  9. Mary Gaitskill
  10. Tessa Hadley
  11. Kelly Link
  12. Sam Lipsyte
  13. Lydia Millet
  14. Christine Schutt
  15. Matthew Sharpe

Those are my favorite fifteen, and a worthy bunch they are.  Here’s almost all the writers that readers submitted:

The long list:

  1. Lee K. Abbott
  2. Donald Antrim
  3. Jo Ann Beard
  4. Lucia Berlin
  5. Susan Choi
  6. Jonathan Dee
  7. Samuel R. Delany
  8. Anthony Doerr
  9. Rikki Doucornet
  10. Brandon Downing
  11. Samantha Dunn
  12. Jennifer Egan
  13. Deborah Eisenberg
  14. Stephen Elliott
  15. Carol Emshwiller
  16. Steve Erickson
  17. Brian Evenson
  18. Percival Everett
  19. Tom Fahy
  20. Richard Ford
  21. Sesshu Foster
  22. Mary Gaitskill
  23. Christine Garren
  24. David Gates
  25. Tim Gautreaux
  26. Rigoberto Gonzalez
  27. John Green
  28. Tessa Hadley
  29. Donald Harington
  30. Siri Hustveldt
  31. Marlon James
  32. Michael Kimball
  33. Victor Lavalle
  34. Tao Lin
  35. Kelly Link
  36. Sam Lipsyte
  37. Robert Lopez
  38. David Means
  39. Lydia Millet
  40. Christopher Moore
  41. Achy Obejas
  42. Tawni O’Dell
  43. Rachel Resnick
  44. Jean Rhys
  45. James Sallis
  46. James Salter
  47. Christine Schutt
  48. Matthew Sharpe
  49. Lionel Shriver
  50. Sarah Shulman
  51. Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum
  52. Joan Silber
  53. Scott Simon
  54. Sherwood Smith
  55. Cheryl Strayed
  56. Cheryl Strayed
  57. Scarlett Thomas
  58. Melanie Rae Thon
  59. Diane Williams
  60. Stephen Wright

55 thoughts on “PWxyz’s Most Underrated Writers

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  2. Pete Mitchel

    Agree, heartily, re Dana Hand. DEEP CREEK is excellent, and the authors (historian and journalist, female and male) know exactly what they’re doing; a highly self-aware, historically-responsible novel that’s also a very moving read.

    I came to it via the rave review by Carolyn See in the ‘Washington Post’ and continue to recommend DC to library clients all the time; my guess is that it is a classic in the making, because word of mouth and holds are keeping this one going. Take a look at the website: http://www.dana-hand.com/

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  5. Pingback: Who Are the Most Accurately-Rated Writers In America? « PWxyz

  6. Bob Grumman

    Now we need to know the difference between the level of work of the fifteen mediocrities classified as “underrated” and the fifteen classified as “overrated.”

  7. Ann Kornbluth

    Reading Martha C. Nussbaum’s books, “Sex and Social Justice” and “Women and Human Development,” changed my life. In the intervening years, she written a number of other influential books, all of them worthwhile reading, especially for a novice like me. When I’m finished reading, “The Therapy of Desire,” I look forward to reading, “Frontiers of Justice: Disability, Nationality, Species Membership,” timely topics in America these days. Thanks for the list!

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