In this original collection, several of today's finest writers introduce little-known treasures of literature that they count among their favorite books. Here Toni Morrison celebrates a great Guinean storyteller whose novel of mystical adventure and surprising revelation transforms our image of Africa, while Susan Sontag raises the curtain on a distant summer when three of the greatest poets of the twentieth century exchanged love letters like no others. Here too John Updike analyzes the rare art of an English comic genius, Jonathan Lethem considers a hard-boiled and heartbreaking story of prison life, and Michael Cunningham uncovers the secrets of what may well be the finest short novel in modern American literature. Other contributors include such noted authors as Arthur C. Danto, Lydia Davis, Elizabeth Hardwick, Francine Prose, Luc Sante, Colm Tóibín, Eliot Weinberger, and James Wood.
Lucid, polished, provocative, inspiring, these essays are models of critical appreciation, offering personal, impassioned, thoughtful responses to a wide range of wonderful books. Unknown Masterpieces is a treat for all lovers of great writing and a useful and stimulating guidebook for readers eager to venture off literature's beaten tracks.