The NYT Edges Towards a “Review of the Review Review”

I’d add one more layer to the survey/review, but it should stop here

Early this year, the Book Review’s editor, Sam Tanenhaus, sent out a short letter to a couple of hundred prominent writers, critics, editors and other literary sages, asking them to please identify “the single best work of American fiction published in the last 25 years.” [See the winners. Read A. O. Scott’s essay. See a list of the judges. Follow a discussion with Jane Smiley, Michael Cunningham, Morris Dickstein and Stephen Metcalf.] Here is a selective list of blogs, with text taken verbatim from posts commenting on the project…

Lawyers, Guns and Money

May 11, 6:58 AM. By Robert Farley.

There are only three works since 2000, including two of what I thought were fairly weak Roth efforts (Human Stain and especially Plot Against America), which suggests to me that distance and hindsight are important to a project like this. I imagine that a couple of hundred prominent writers and critics asked in 2015 would return a much different set of works from the first part of this decade.

(The joke “review of the review review is Morgan’s, as Abbas notes in the comments.)