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The English Teacher's List of Defiance: Popular Genre Books That Are Better Than "Literature "

I was once asked during a job interview who I thought were the 3 greatest American Novelists of the 20th Century. I said Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, and Elmore Leonard. I didn't get the job. (I learned later that I was supposed to say Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Faulkner.Mea Culpa.) In my subsequent career in Academia, I have held to two principles:1) Drama is not Literature - it is its own separate form; and 2) The best writing is found in the genres. I don't discount mainstream literary fiction; "Gatsby", for example, is a great book. It's just that "The Glass Key" is just as good, and Hammett is a better storyteller AND writer than Fitzgerald. So here are a bunch of genre titles that meet the criteria of "Literature", and are better than some of the crap I was required to teach.
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made by James Loranger
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1
Alas Babylon (Frank)
Alas Babylon (Frank)
2
American Gods (Neil Gaiman)
American Gods (Neil Gaiman)
3
American Tabloid (James Ellroy)
American Tabloid (James Ellroy)
4
An Unsuitable Job for a Woman (P. D. James)
An Unsuitable Job for a Woman (P. D. James)
5
And Chaos Died (Joanna Russ)
And Chaos Died (Joanna Russ)
6
And Then There Were None (Agatha Christie)
And Then There Were None (Agatha Christie)
7
Aubrey/Maturin Series
Aubrey/Maturin Series
8
Bag of Bones (Stephen King)
Bag of Bones (Stephen King)
9
Bid Time Return (Richard Matheson)
Bid Time Return (Richard Matheson)
10
The Big Clock (Kenneth Fearing)
The Big Clock (Kenneth Fearing)
11
The Big Nowhere (James Ellroy)
The Big Nowhere (James Ellroy)
12
The Big Sky (A.B. Guthrie)
The Big Sky (A.B. Guthrie)
13
The Big Sleep (Chandler)
The Big Sleep (Chandler)
14
Blackout/All Clear (Connie Willis)
Blackout/All Clear (Connie Willis)
15
Buffalo Gals Won't You Come Out Tonight? (Ursula K Leguin)
Buffalo Gals Won't You Come Out Tonight? (Ursula K Leguin)
16
Burnt Offerings (Robert Marasco)
Burnt Offerings (Robert Marasco)
17
A Canticle for Leibowitz (Miller)
A Canticle for Leibowitz (Miller)
18
Cat's Cradle (Kurt Vonnegut)
Cat's Cradle (Kurt Vonnegut)
19
Childhood's End (Arthur C. Clarke)
Childhood's End (Arthur C. Clarke)
20
The City and the City
The City and the City
21
A Coffin for Dimitrios (Ambler)
A Coffin for Dimitrios (Ambler)
22
Cotton Comes to Harlem (Chester Himes)
Cotton Comes to Harlem (Chester Himes)
23
The Crook Factory (Simmons)
The Crook Factory (Simmons)
24
Dangerous Visions (Harlan Ellison)
Dangerous Visions (Harlan Ellison)
25
The Dark Country (Dennis Etchison)
The Dark Country (Dennis Etchison)
26
A Dark-Adapted Eye
A Dark-Adapted Eye
27
The Daughter of Time (Josephine Tey)
The Daughter of Time (Josephine Tey)
28
The Day of the Triffids (John Wyndham)
The Day of the Triffids (John Wyndham)
29
Deathbird Stories (Harlan Ellison)
Deathbird Stories (Harlan Ellison)
30
Devil in a Blue Dress (Walter Mosley)
Devil in a Blue Dress (Walter Mosley)
31
The Dispossessed (Ursula K. Le Guin)
The Dispossessed (Ursula K. Le Guin)
32
Doomsday Book (Willis)
Doomsday Book (Willis)
33
The Doors of His Face (Zelazny)
The Doors of His Face (Zelazny)
34
Double Indemnity (James M. Cain)
Double Indemnity (James M. Cain)
35
The Drowning Pool (Ross MacDonald)
The Drowning Pool (Ross MacDonald)
36
Dune (Frank Herbert)
Dune (Frank Herbert)
37
The Dunwich Horror (H. P. Lovecraft)
The Dunwich Horror (H. P. Lovecraft)
38
Dying Inside (Robert Silverberg)
Dying Inside (Robert Silverberg)
39
The Einstein Intersection (Samuel R. Delany)
The Einstein Intersection (Samuel R. Delany)
40
Eye of the Needle (Ken Follett)
Eye of the Needle (Ken Follett)
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