When the New York Times unveiled its list of “the best work of American fiction of the past twenty-five years,” I couldn’t understand why books with single votes weren’t listed. (I mean, when New Yorker readers from Connecticut make up a quarter of a jury pool, pardon me if I don’t faint from the shock of multiple ballots cast for Updike and Roth.)
Now the NBCC’s blog posts an incomplete list of single-book votes.
They’ve got Grace Paley. They’ve also got Donald Barthelme, Michael Chabon, John Crowley, Michael Cunningham, Jonathan Franzen, William Gaddis, William Kennedy, James Purdy, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Gilbert Sorrentino, and Anne Tyler. Not to mention John Irving, who voted for himself, correctly suspecting that, “otherwise, I might not receive a single vote.”