There are many writers who have never got the deserving appreciation or recognition for their work. Many great authors are easily forgotten while others are ignored and are left under-appreciated. The reason many writers are deemed as underrated is because they are “rated below their value”. Either they have been read by only a few people or have been overshadowed by the bestsellers.
Here we have compiled a list of 10 most underrated writers that you must bookmark for your next read.
An award-winning contemporary American playwright, novelist and director, John Clanchy is one of the most underrated writers. He has written several monologues, novels, plays and short stories. His novel, “The Hard Word” won the ACT Book of the Year twice. He has written many great short fiction like ‘Vincenzo’s Garden, A Collection of Short Stories’ which was widely praised on its publication and also won the Steele Rudd Award in 2005 and ACT Book of the Year in the year 2006. If you are an aspiring playwright or interested in writing short fiction with some dark humor and thrillers, then definitely bookmark John Clanchy for your next read. You can also participate in the Daily Micro-fiction Writing Challenge on GoSocial, a leading artist-friendly platform. In this challenge you can improve your story writing skills by writing short fiction stories and also take inspiration from fellow writers on GoSocial.
You probably haven’t heard of him but Fredric Brown was surely one of the greatest sci-fi writers of the twentieth century. He is an American short science fiction and mystery writer. He produced various genres: black comedy, mystery, science fiction, short fantasy, etc. His mastery of the short form stories of 1-3 pages and use of humor is simply genius. His stories with wildly inventive twists and surprise endings should be a must read for aspiring short fiction and sci-fi authors. One of his stories, “Arena”, is officially credited for an adaptation as an episode of the American television series “Star Trek”. Some of his notable works that deserve a place on your bookshelf are “The Fabulous Clipjoint”, which won the “Edgar Award” for outstanding first mystery novel and “Arena”. To learn more about sci-fi and improve your fiction writing skills, you can take the “Finish The Story [Sci-Fi]”- Writing Challenge on GoSocial.
Margery Sharp was an English author, novelist and playwright. She has written several mysteries, novels for adults and children, plays and short stories. She also used to write for magazines including Harper’s Bazaar. The quality of her writing and the way she depicts women in her stories makes her an excellent writer. She uses wit and humour and the endings of her stories often surprise the readers. Many of her books have been adapted into successful movies. She is best known for her work, “The Rescuers” series which was adapted by Disney into two animated feature films. If you happen to be intrigued by the mystery and thriller genre then she is one of the writers that you can’t miss. You can start with Patricia Highsmith’s Tom Ripley series and venture into her mysterious world.
Jim Harrison was an American poet, novelist and essayist. A prolific and versatile writer, Harrison has published over three dozen books in several genres including poetry, fiction, non-fiction, memoir and many more. He has never gotten the widespread appreciation and the wider audience that he truly deserves. His most famous work was “Legends of the Fall”, 1979. Harrison also experimented with poetic forms, as personified by his use of the “ghazal” of ancient Persia.You should definitely read the splendid short stories and novels of this incredible writing works like ‘Cluny Brown’ and “Brittanica Mews” that are tales of women who are strong, independent, and defy the rigid morals of the day.
Alice Munro is one of the best fiction writers in Canada but she is a lesser known author in other parts of the world. She is a Canadian short-story writer. She won the Nobel Prize in Literature in the year 2013. Her first collection of stories, “Dance of the Happy Shades” (1968), won the “Governor General’s Award”, Canada’s highest literary prize.In 1978, Munro’s collection of interlinked stories Who Do You Think You Are? was published. This book earned Munro a second “Governor General’s Literary Award”. Her books are bestsellers in the country but she has never had a large readership outside of Canada. Munro’s stories often have the emotional and literary depth of novels. Yet another writer whose work you should not miss if you are an aspiring short story writer. Read her marvellous book ‘Runaway’ and take inspiration from her excellence.
One of the many lesser known Indian authors is Amit Chaudhari. He is a novelist, essayist, poet, editor and singer. Elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2009, he is Professor of Contemporary Literature at the University of East Anglia. He teaches at Ashoka University, India as Professor of Creative Writing. He has received many awards including Commonwealth Writers Prize, the Betty Trask Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction, and many more. Many critics have reviewed that his stories revolve around domestic and urban life and have written about his poetic and softly comic writing style. Do give this incredible writer a read! You can start with one of his best works ‘The Immortals’.
Amitava Kumar is a very incredible Indian writer. He is a writer and journalist. Dwight Garner at The New York Times described his book- “A Foreigner Carrying In The Crook Of His Arm a Tiny Bomb”, as “perceptive and soulful- if at times academic- meditation on the global war on terror and its cultural and human repercussions”. It was awarded the Best Non-Fiction Book of the Year in the Asian American Literary Awards. He was the scriptwriter for two documentary films- “Dirty Laundry”. This was about the national-racial politics of Indian South Africans and “Pure Chutney” which was about the descendants of indentured Indian labourers in Trinidad. He has also regularly authored newspapers and magazines across the world such as New Statesman, The Nation, The Caravan, The Indian Express and The Hindu. To begin with him, you should definitely read “Husband of a Fanatic” which won many awards.
Dana Johnson is an American author. Born and raised in and around Los Angeles, she is a professor of English at the University of Southern California. Her first book, “Break Any Woman Down”, was published while she was at graduate school at the University of Indiana, earning her the “Flannery O’Connor” Award for short fiction. It is an exceptional book, you should definitely give it a read. Her works are partly based on her own experiences. You will absolutely get intrigued by her strong sense of writing style, pacing and narrative voice.
Gayl Jones is an African-American writer from Lexington, Kentucky. She is one of the best American novelists whose name you might not be familiar with. Her work primarily consisted of magazine stories and popular paperbacks, including titles ‘Dormitory Women and “Up The Down Coed”. Her vivid prose and exceptional subject matter makes her a splendid writer. You should definitely read some of her major books including ‘Corregidora’, ‘Eva’s Man’, ‘The Healing’ and many more.
Patricia Highsmith was a vastly underrated American writer. She was an American novelist and short story writer. Her work has led to more than two dozen film adaptations. Her writing derived influence from existentialist literature and questioned notions of identity and popular morality. She was dubbed “the poet of apprehension” by novelist Graham Greene. Her first novel, “Strangers on a Train”, proved modestly successful upon publication in 1950. She is widely known for her psychological thrillers including her series of five novels featuring the character Tom Ripley. She also wrote comics for a few years after her graduation. The comic book script writer job was the only long-term job Highsmith ever held. You should definitely read “The Talented Mr. Ripley”, “The Price of Salt” to start with her writing works.