Looking for something to read but don’t want to stray too far from the authors you know and love? Seeking undiscovered literary gems to talk about at dinner parties? Want to delve into the backlist of a certain Great American Author? Well, Flavorwire has got you covered. After all, sometimes, amazing books just get lost in the shuffle, whether it’s because they’re before their time, fall out of fashion, or their author has one blockbuster that blots out all the rest. So after the jump, check out 50 great under-appreciated, under-read, and overshadowed novels by 50 of your favorite authors, and be sure to add any missing ringers to the list.
Vladimir Nabokov, Invitation to a Beheading
Sure, everyone’s read Lolita, and the fans among you have probably delved into the excellent Pale Fire and Pnin. But – in the English-speaking world at least – less attention is, not surprisingly, afforded to those books Nabokov wrote in Russian, one of the best of which is Invitation to a Beheading, a surreal, Kafkaesque number rife with curiosities and metaphor. Plus, while Nabokov has said that he has the most affection for Lolita, it is Invitation to a Beheading which he holds in “the greatest esteem.” That should be good enough for anybody.