The Book of Forgotten Authors review
Among the eclectic selection are Booker winners and the best story-tellers you’ve never heard of
Readers might be surprised by how many of their own favourite authors (and guilty pleasures) are included in Fowler’s eclectic selection of 99 ‘forgotten’ authors. Do Margery Allingham, Georgette Heyer, Kyril Bonfiglioli ring any bells? Check out your local library or second-hand bookshop and you’ll find that these are some of the best story-tellers you’ve never heard of. But not all are completely unsung; Fowler includes forgotten Booker winners, many of whom were one-hit-wonders. Also in the mix are authors who achieved huge book sales in their day, but are justly forgotten for reasons of poor quality and, sometimes, sheer volume of output. There’s also good news in that some authors are, deservedly, being rediscovered and published, and their renaissance is celebrated by Fowler because a good writer, forgotten or not, is still a good writer and deserves a break. “Absence doesn’t make the heart grow fonder. It makes people think you’re dead.” Sometimes the great reading public is just that fickle.