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Martha McPhee's Top Ten List

 

Please welcome Martha McPhee to Top Ten Land.

She is the author of four novels. Her first two, Bright Angel Time (1997) are Gorgeous Lies (2002), are semi-autobiographic stories based on her childhood in a family that included 10 kids – her mother, the photographer and feminist publisher Pryde Brown, who had four children with the New Yorker writer John McPhee and one with her second husband, Dan Sullivan, who had custody of all five children from his first marriage. According to a 1975 article in People Magazine, the blended family also included “10 chickens and six dogs.”

Her other novels are L’America (2006) and Dear Money (2010). Her work has been honored with fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts and The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. In 2002 she was nominated for a National Book Award. Her novels have been Best Books of The Year on The New York Times, Washington Post and Chicago Tribune lists. Her essays and reviews have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers including The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Newark Star Ledger, Vogue, More, Harper’s Bazaar, Self, Traveler, Travel & Leisure, among many others. McPhee is a tenured member of the English Department at Hofstra University. She lives in New York City with her children and husband, the poet and writer Mark Svenvold.

·       Visit Martha’s website – which includes some excellent recipes.

·       Read an interview with Martha and her sister, the author Jenny McPhee.

·       Watch the video trailer for Dear Money.

 

Martha McPhee’s Top Ten List

1. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (1939).

2. Middlemarch by George Eliot (1871–72).

3. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton (1905).

4. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark (1961).

5. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray (1847–48).

6. Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy (1874).

7. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (1877).

8. A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth (1993).

9. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien (1990).

10. Charming Billy by Alice McDermott (1998).

New List

Amy Bloom

1. The Deptford trilogy by Robertson Davies (1983).
2. Persuasion by Jane Austen (1817).
3. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman (1995–2000).
4. The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields (1995).
5. The Known World by Edward P. Jones (2003).
6. The Beggar Maid by Alice Munro (1978).
7. The Plot Against America by Philip Roth.
8. The Hours by Michael Cunningham (1998).
9. Fancies and Goodnights by John Collier (1951).
10. Larry’s Party by Carol Shields (1997).

Wild Cards to make it an even dozen:

Jumping the Queue by Mary Wesley (1983).
Raising Demons by Shirley Jackson (1957).

Classic List

Chris Bohjalian

1. The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri (1321).
2. Ulysses by James Joyce (1922).
3. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (1860–61).
4. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (1877).
5. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925).
6. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (1960).
7. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (1847).
8. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (1884).
9. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (1952).
10. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo (1862).

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