Remember the New York Times list of the top twenty five books of the last twenty five years? I decried it for being racist, sexist, and a few other ists in this blog post.
Well, I've never been one to criticize without taking action. I am pleased to announce that we here at Fringe have decided to make our own list of the Best 25 Novels of the Last 25 Years. However, the rules for voting are a bit complicated. Because we think that the NYT's oversight of minority writers resulted from lack of awareness of these writers rather than aggressive racism/sexism,(although the list of judges was a little over 25% women, pretty pitiful) our methodology is aimed at overcoming this hurdle.
Here is how it will work:
*Fringe staffers will create a Pool of recent novels, written solely by writers who are non-white, non-male, non-straight, or some combination thereof. Look for an unofficial version of the Pool on the blog in the next few weeks. The official Pool will appear in our August issue.
*In order to vote for Fringe's Best 25 Novels of the Last 25 Years, you have to read at least two books from the Pool. For each additional book you read, you are able to cast an additional vote, up to a maximum of five votes.
*Each individual may only cast one ballot (containing up to five votes), scout's honor. When voting, you will be required to list the books you have read from the Pool, scout's honor. If you choose, you may cast some or all of your votes for books that do not appear in the Pool. You may vote for up to five different books, or you may allot all of your votes to one book.
*Because we are competing with the NYT list, we wanted to make it fair by adopting some of their base guidelines. All books appearing in the Pool or on the final List must meet these criteria:
a) have an original publication date of 1982 or later
b) be originally written in English
c) have an author who is either an American citizen or who has resided in America for the bulk of their writing career.
d) only novels are eligible here.
I think that about covers the read tape (get it?). Stay tuned for more details and the unofficial pool.