(In preparation of opening a new money-making website soon on the subject of rare books, CCLaP has recently become an affiliate seller at eBay; so we will now be doing weekly recommendations of other interesting book sales taking place there besides just our own, grouped by an interesting theme or subject each week. Please be aware that when you click on one of these particular links and then maybe end up buying the book, CCLaP receives a percentage of that sale as a commission for recommending it.)
This week's theme: Great contemporary authors to be collecting in their entirety
Since this is nearly impossible to do with older authors, one of the most fun activities among collectors of contemporary first editions is to attempt to put together a complete set of books by a particular author; if guessed correctly, such a collection will be worth an enormous fortune in another half-century or more if kept all together that entire time, a very reasonable goal to shoot for if you're a collector currently under the age of 40. Here, five recommendations of living and currently publishing authors who you might want to take a bet on.
Michael Chabon. A great example of our contemporary time's habit to flirt back and forth between high art and low art in the literary world, and between academic respect and genre conventions, Chabon is perhaps the only Pulitzer winner in history to have also written a comic book, with his titles equally at home at a science-fiction convention as at Bread Loaf. Try for example this first edition, first printing of his early 1988 hit for $150 or best offer, from Rare Book Cellar.
Jonathan Franzen. Brilliant, controversial, name-checked by the President of the United States, pouty and old-fashioned when it comes to the literary world and the literary industry -- Franzen has almost everything you want when looking for contemporary writers who have a good chance of still being famous and thus collectible in another 50 or 100 years from now. Check out for example this signed first edition, first printing of his fellow 1988 hit for $100 or best offer (the year both he and Chabon broke into the national consciousness at the same time, which is why their names seem to forever be linked), from Buyers Cellar.
Salman Rushdie. A writer who seemingly keeps getting more fascinating with every passing decade, he was one of the Postmodernist pioneers who helped break the color barrier for academically revered authors, went into hiding for years because of an international death threat from one of the most powerful religious figures on the planet, and has been voted three times in a row now the greatest writer to ever win the Booker Prize. Try this signed first edition, first printing of his infamous 1989 by Polynomics for $300; or for the truly dedicated pick up this super-rare mint-condition first edition of his Booker Winner and magical-realism definer , for a cool $750 from Bookbid.
Toni Morrison. What's one of the future areas of highly collectible literature that no one seems to be thinking about right now? Writers of color, that's what! And in the future, Morrison will be seen as important and as groundbreaking to our age as William Faulkner is seen as to Early Modernism, so you're a fool not to be picking up her highly affordable catalog of work right now when you still have a chance. Here for example, pick up a first edition, first printing of her groundbreaking 1987 novel and Oprah favorite for only $60, from Woolf6738.
George Saunders. Most likely to be remembered in the future for being one of the first authors to bring respectability to a new subgenre still mostly thoroughly in the underground, known collectively as "bizarro," that is likely destined to become a much more increasingly popular form of the arts as the generations click on, just like how it was difficult in the 1910s to predict that science-fiction in general would be the billion-dollar business it is today. Signed copies of even his newest in mint condition, last year's , are going already for $100 at Feral Books, so get on top of this author's oeuvre while you still have a chance to do so relatively cheaply.