A hundred years ago the finalists in the best books of the year game were “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum, “Sister Carrie” by Theodore Dreiser, “The Touchstone” by Edith Wharton and Sigmund Freud’s “Interpretation of Dreams.” It’s hard to imagine which of the New York Times Notable Books of the year will stand the test of time. Beowulf ages well and Seamus Heaney’s translation this year might well become the standard. That phallocracy of late twentieth century American literary rock stars — Updike, Bellow and Roth — all published this year and you can imagine that trio slugging it out for another hundred years.
And don’t forget those new literary upstarts, the ironic Dave Eggers and the multi-cultural Zadie Smith, and the prolific J.K. Rowling, the creator of maybe the most beloved character in a hundred years, Harry Potter. Memorable books of 2000 are this hour on the Connection.
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)
Richard Eder, New York Times book critic
and M.J. Rose, journalist for Wired News