Booking Through Thursday question was submitted by Barbara:
Do you think any current author is of the same caliber as Dickens, Austen, Bronte, or any of the classic authors? If so, who, and why do you think so? If not, why not? What books from this era might be read 100 years from now?
As far as authors that have the "stuff" to get into the Pantheon of Dickens, Austen, and Bronte, Stephen King really leads the pack; he has professed to having Dickens as a favorite author and it shows - his characters are memorable and myriad (Carrie, Cujo, Roland, Jack, etc). Jasper Fforde is another that I think sits right up there; in my opinion, he is the one who comes closest to the Austen comedy of manners (even though he both creates his world and comments on it to boot) and makes ample use of the ironic voice. Toni Morrison writes some of the most heartbreaking scenes in all of literature and Margaret Atwood writes unforgettable stories. I would put Stieg Larsson up there, too, because he has created one of the most unlikely heroines/anti-heroines in Lisbeth Salander.
As to what will be read in 100 years, only time will tell. Authors die out and are resurrected all the time depending on trend and taste. The feminist movement brought a number of "forgotten" female authors to the foreground (Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Kate Chopin for instance); even Faulkner fell by the wayside until his Nobel appeared. I have my favorites and I'll read them and push them onto others, as long as I have breath to do so.