Today Details magazine unveiled the 25 Greatest Gen X Books of All Time, giving GalleyCat an exclusive peek at the picks. The colorful list includes everything from “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” by Junot Diaz to “Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus” by Rick Perlstein.
GalleyCat caught up with Details‘ Deputy Editor Chis Raymond to find out more about the list. He explained the cutoff age for writers: “After a lot of heated discussion, we ended up settling on 1960 as the cut-off date. That, of course, meant guys like William T. Vollmann didn’t make the cut, which launched a whole new round of arguments. But that’s what makes the project fun. We wanted to point out that there were some literary giants who were born after John Updike and Norman Mailer. But you can’t name every one.”
Finally, he argued against the stereotype that men don’t read books: “I don’t buy that argument. Men may not buy as many books as women, but we read. We read the the Wall Street Journal and Malcolm Gladwell’s New Yorker stories and Bill Simmons’ column on ESPN.com. If a story’s good enough to merit our attention, we’ll find it and read it. Just look at the features in men’s magazines. They’re often much meatier than the fare you find in women’s magazines. What does that tell you? That guys aren’t afraid to spend an hour reading a great piece of writing … And because Details readers are sophisticated when it comes to modern media, they can appreciate the confessions of Motley Crue every bit as much as Dexter Filkins on the Iraq War.”