Ann Parker here, flying in late on Tuesday with the admission that I *forgot* I was scheduled to post today on fave overlooked author(s). Whoops!
But my forgetting this one to-do over the brief space of a day (Monday morning I remembered I had to do this; by Monday evening, that memory was looooong goooone) is a minor indication of all that writers/authors have to deal with in being "remembered" over time. Anyhow, I'm going to provide a shortcut to my forgotten offering today before wandering off on a tangent.
Many years ago (five? could it be that long?) I contributed to The Rap Sheet's column about "great but forgotten books" with a column about Martin Cruz Smith's Rose. You can read what I had to say about Rose here http://therapsheet.blogspot.com/2010/11/book-you-have-to-read-rose-by-martin.html . Then, should you be inclined, you can click on the label Books You Have to Read at the bottom of the post titled and explore a whole archive of "gone but shouldn't be forgotten" titles that, in many cases, refer to works of authors that someone, somewhere felt should be remembered.
It's a short step from forgotten books to forgotten authors.
I wish I had a crystal ball to peer into the future a century or two and see which of today's authors are still being read (if not widely, then at least in a "popular literature of the 20th-21st century" class). If I were to make a guess (and it's a guess only) I'd offer up two names: Steven King and J.K. Rowling. But who's to say? Who would've guessed, back in Elizabethan times, that the works of playwright William Shakespeare--whose works spoke to the masses in the pit as well as the nobles in the "Lord's room"-- would be assigned reading five-hundred-plus years later? Think about that: Five hundred years. I'd bet Shakespeare himself would be amazed and amused, if he knew.
Of course, there are authors and works going back even further: Chaucer, The Iliad, Beowulf...
Oh gads. Beowulf.
Shoot me now.
Well, we all have things we've read that we'd like to forget, right? Beowulf, top o' my list.