I have been back in Derbyshire visiting my Gran and also visiting my old childhood haunts this past weekend. Gran was in good form, despite having had a nasty fall last week, and can now almost lift her foot (whilst nearly going blue in the face with effort bless her) and can move her left thumb and slightly squeeze her hand so it’s all good. She can also read again and this of course led to talking about books, which brought up the subject of divisions of authors. (I thought I would pop a picture of her bookshelves here that I took this weekend as a bit of book porn and because I don’t like posts without pictures… oh dear.)
I have been trying to recollect the exact way this conversation came up but I know it came down to Gran wanting to know if I had read Anita Shreve. I mentioned that I hadn’t, as I had mistakenly thought that (from the covers) she was chick-lit, but had recently bought ‘The Weight of Water’ as my mum had lots on her shelves and then Kim of Reading Matters reviewed her and reminded me she too was a big fan. At the moment I mentioned chick-lit my Gran frowned and said ‘I wouldn’t say that, I would say she is more a second division author…’
I have never heard of this expression before, or even given the ideas of divisions of authors so there was an odd silence afterward whilst I was getting my head around it. She then quoted Somerset Maugham who apparently said something about this, of course I have now completely the quote, but I think I can paraphrase by saying he always aimed for first division but knew he would remain in second – which I think a lot of people would disagree with.
I do find the idea of an author division league, oddly like football which I never thought I would mention on this blog, intriguing even if I don’t quite agree with it. Would it be a case of authors going from first to second if they wrote a dud one etc? I may possibly have over thought this, I was wondering how it would work with debut novelists would they have to work their way up no matter how good their debut novel?
I have been thinking of having a Hall of Fame for my very favourite authors on this blog, maybe its time to pull my finger out and do it! What do you think? Do you have divisions of authors? How do you categorise the people you read, is it a case of favourites, ones I like and the ones that I don’t? I would be interested to know and will report back to Gran (who I will grill a little more on this too) when I next visit her.