Who is the greatest living novelist?

Obama Confers Nat'l Medal of Arts And Nat'l Humani
U.S. President Barack Obama presents the 2010 National Humanities Medal to novelist Philip Roth during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, on March 2, 2011 in Washington, DC.
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Who is the world's greatest living novelist? The Atlantic says Philip Roth.

From Joseph O'Neill in The Atlantic:

It is hard to contemplate a body of work of such magnitude and grandeur without a little melancholy. Few literary writers younger than, say, 60 have much chance of achieving a comparable yield, and one wonders how many would even want to. The Rothic dedication to productivity seems anachronistic, even uncalled-for, in a culture ever less hospitable to the demands made by a lengthy written text, the most basic being that the reader sit down for hours without some powerful electronic agitation of the senses.

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We check in with John Freeman, editor of Granta, and Marjorie Kehe, book editor for the Christian Science Monitor, about their picks.


Qualities of a good novelist: Range, ability to influence other writers and willingness to take part in social commentary.