Literary and other lists are popular because they are so often entirely arbitrary—the 10 greatest this, the 50 most unique that, the eight whomever you should watch for—all determinations made by one cultural critic or another, or the vague entity of staff. When these lists are published, we get to read, consider, dissect, and frantically comment about how we agree or disagree. We get to share how we might recompose the lists more appropriately. It’s a lot of fun.
Lately, there has been a proliferation of a certain genre of list: The [insert number here] Women You Should Be Reading Now. Time recently published its list of 21 female authors you “should be reading.” The list is fine even though, as these things go, I do have opinions about its composition. I was thrilled to see Elliott Holt named because I loved her debut novel, You Are One of Them, published in 2013. It was also a pleasure to see Taiye Selasi named, because Ghana Must Go was another favorite.