Voting on Britain’s best living writer

The new British quarterly, The Book, is kicking things off with a poll to determine, by popular vote, “the Greatest Living British Writer.” As Gordon Kerr writes in his essay introducing the poll, “Now, there’s a question! It’s such a big one, in fact, that it requires capitals at the beginning of each word!” Indeed. If you’ve got an opinion on the matter, cast your vote. I couldn’t decide – how does one pick in polls like this? – so I selected John Le Carre, who seems to be sufficiently influential and popular while at the same time a little bit outside of the literary box. Thoughts?

created The Millions and is its publisher. He and his family live in New Jersey.


  1. I voted for Nick Hornby. Mostly because I recently read The Polysyllabic Spree and found out that he really loves books. Also because in that book as well as in About A Boy, he just sounds real to me, doesn't take himself too seriously and truly seems to care about people.

  2. Lots of good writers on that list. My vote would be for Martin Amis ("Money", "The Information") but I've also enjoyed Jonathan Coe, John Le Carre, Hanif Kureishi, and Irvine Welsh. I haven't read either McEwan or Rushdie yet…)

  3. …oh – – and William Boyd who appears to be absent from the list as it stands now. He's great.

  4. Great writers all…but where is Jeanette Winterson or A.S. Byatt? Salman Rushdie is a British writer?

  5. Byatt made the list I believe… but you're right Winterson should have been on it. Neil Gaiman would get my vote!!

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