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The salon.com Reader's Guide to Contemporary Authors

Edited by Laura Miller and Adam Begley

Dan Cryer on Ethan Canin: "In the 1980s, when hip, young writers proclaimed themselves avatars of the drug-propelled, angst-ridden, media-savvy moment, Ethan Canin was the old geezer of his generation, and proud of it."

Cryer on Alice McDermott: "Like Britain's Penelope Fitzgerald, McDermott is a master of the exquisite miniature. Most of her novels come in at two hundred pages or fewer, and by these less-is-more standards, her National Book Award-winning novel, 'Charming Billy,' is a tome."

Cryer on Rick Bass: "Rick Bass's dispatches arrive every year or so from the Yaak Valley, a remote Montana wilderness. Whether fiction or literary eco-journalism, they're imbued with a transcendent love of the earth and the belief that its miraculous flora and fauna are endangered by human rapaciousness."