Last week, Brenna at Literary Musings published her list of Top Ten Sexiest Male Writers. I thought it was such a good idea, I totally ripped it off...with the one minor tweak of listing women instead of men. Now, if you’re thinking that creating a list of sexy female writers trivializes their talent and reduces their art, well, at some level, I don't disagree with you. I suppose it is a bit sexist, and I'm really sensitive to that, having been accused of being a sexist reader several times since I started this blog — since I tend to read more men writers than women. But this is just for fun. So, before you toss off an angry comment, just take a deep breath...and enjoy:
Left: Nell Freudenberger is one of my first literary crushes, dating back to about 2001 when her story collection Lucky Girls came out. She's since published a novel titled The Dissident, and writes regularly for the NY Times. To dispel your cynical notions that I just poached her name from last year's "20 Under 40" list, I can tell you I vividly remember reading and being appalled and angered by this 2003 Salon piece titled "Too young, too pretty, too successful" written by Jealous Writer Curtis Sittenfeld.
Right: Marisha Pessl, author of the novel Special Topics In Calamity Physics, will really get your atoms racing. (Sorry. could. not. resist.)
Left: Sloan Crosley, author of extraordinarily witty and funny essay collections I Was Told There'd Be Cake and How Did You Get This Number, is the only non-novelist to make my list. And if you're skeptical that her charm translates to real life, check out her appearance on Craig Ferguson.
Right: Zadie Smith actually is just as attractive in person as she appears her dust jacket photos (I got to meet her at a signing a few years ago). To put it nicely, this is a relative rarity amongst writers...of both sexes. Her merits as a writer is well-traversed ground.
Left: Nicole Krauss is the better half of the first family of contemporary lit. Is it fair to say Jonathan Safran Foer overachieved? Krauss has published three novels, Man Walks Into Room, The History of Love (which is brilliant!), and Great House.
Right: Jhumpa Lahiri is the author of the Pulitzer-winning short story collection Interpreter of Maladies and the (brilliant) novel The Namesake. The Indian-American writer adds a degree of exotic hotness to our list.
Left: Amy Greene, author of one of my favorite novels of last year, Bloodroot, adds some down-home hotness to our list. According to her jacket bio, she lives in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, the setting of her brilliant debut novel.
Right: Sarah Hall is a British novelist who first made a name for herself when her second novel The Electric Michelangelo was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. I liked it, but not enough to fawn over. (The author herself, though, is a different story!) She's since been long-listed for the Booker Prize for her latest novel, 2009's How To Paint a Dead Man.
debut novel The History of History so much I had to include her on this list. Have you read it yet? Please do.
Right: Vendela Vida, probably better known as Mrs. Dave Eggers, is a published (and generally well-received) novelist and screenwriter in her own right. Perhaps her best-known novel is Let The Northern Lights Erase Your Name, which I have but haven't read, and which is one of my favorite titles ever.
There you go. Who did I miss? Who's on your list?
(One final note: If you're reading this on RSS, email, or Google Reader, I'd encourage you to stop by the blog itself. I did a little summer relaunch — the site includes a new design, as well as links to all New Dork Reviews, an updated "About Me" section, and a new review policy page. Thanks, as always, for reading!)