Boston has a long and rich literary history. In fact, many of the early settlers and preachers wrote just to keep track of what was happening in the new town. From there, names like Nathaniel Hawthorne and Louisa May Alcott entered Boston’s literary scene, and it has never been the same. Today, the city claims numerous authors, many of which are very popular. Here are some of Boston’s best local authors.
Steven Pinker is a brilliant author with a quirky side. His website is full of random tidbits like a picture of his brain and downloads mapping his genome. As a psychology professor at Harvard, best-selling author and a runner up for the 2012 Julia Ward Howe Prize, he certainly has his credentials in order, and his books reflect them. His most recent published book is “The Better Angels of Our Nature.” It delves into the supposed decline of violence in society. Is he right? Well, that is for the reader to decide, but there is no denying that he succinctly presents his case.
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Daniel Goldhagen has produced international best-sellers on multiple occasions. This may be partly due to the controversial subject matter of his books, but it is likely also due to the thoroughness of his research, the clarity of his message and the respect with which he approaches sensitive topics. Centering mainly on the Holocaust, Goldhagen writes about genocide. His most recent novel “Worse than War” is a chronicle of genocide throughout history. It might not be light reading, but it is a great lesson in unforgiving reality.
Matthew Tobin Anderson is a talented author with several highly acclaimed children and young adult novels under his belt. He stands out among a slew of writers creating for this genre. His talent is clearly one reason for this, but it is also the fact that Anderson does not hold back or dumb down his content for his audience. Like the late, great Maurice Sendak, Anderson emphasizes the intellect of young readers and subtly chastises us for our condescension of youth through the mere success of his complex novels, such as “The Pox Party.”
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Jackie MacMullan has been handing out her opinion on Boston sports for decades. In 2010, she joined forces with ESPN. She has won the Curt Gowdy Media Award, helped basketball superstar Shaquille O’Neal write his autobiography and has appeared on numerous sports specials. She is one of very few women who have successfully remained in the sports writing industry and is an inspiration to female sports fans and writers everywhere.
While he currently resides in the Northwestern United States, Kurt Busiek is a Boston native who is now a famous comic book writer. He has done “Iron Man,” “Spider-Man,” “The Avengers” and much more. He has won numerous awards, including Eisner and Harvey Awards. Today, comic books are more relevant in the literary spotlight than ever. Busiek embodies the reasons why people love this medium so much. His take on the comic book hero universe as seen by an everyman was a hit and remains part of comic book culture.
Shelly Barclay is a professional freelance writer and amateur author. She writes on a variety of topics from food to mysteries. She loves to share the culture and rich history of her birthplace and home, Boston, with the rest of the world. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.