Busse Library provides this website as a resource for students and faculty researching literature's major authors. Based upon the book, The Literary 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Novelists, Playwrights, and Poets of All Time by Daniel S. Burt (New York: Facts on File, 2001), the project offers full listings by ranking and through a name index.
Specialized pages offer women writers, American authors, United Kingdom authors, and world authors grouped by continent. Developed solely for this website, additional project resources include significant authors in children's literature and a compilation of other "top 100" literature projects.
Each author's entry includes online biographical research and landmarks, scholarly resources, major works online, and Busse Library offerings for the novelist, dramatist, or poet.
This project, and its inspiration, develop from a tradition to select the world's most important authors who made a lasting contribution to literature and to compile a selection of history's most significant published texts in fiction and nonfiction.
Examples of "Top 100" Literature Projects:
- "The 100 Best Characters in Fiction Since 1900." Book Magazine (21) (Mar-Apr 2002).
- "The 100 Greatest Novels of All Time: The List." Manchester Guardian-Observer (UK) (October 12, 2003)
- African American Literature Book Club: Favorite 100 African American Books of the 20th Century
- The BBC: The Big Read (2003) -- the top 100 most-loved novels in the UK
- Doug Shaw Reviews Top 100 Novels -- in-depth reviews of Modern Library's selections
- Independent Mystery Booksellers Association: 100 Favorite Mysteries of the 20th Century (2000)
- Larry McCaffery's "20th Century Greatest Hits": The Top 100 English Language Books of Fiction -- listing from San Diego State University American literature professor
- Modern Library: Random House: The Top 100 Books of All Time -- the 1998 landmark, controversial list
- Montana State University: Top 100 Books, 2001
- National Review: Top 100 Best Nonfiction Books of the Century (1998) -- listing from conservative political magazine
- Orrin Reviews Modern Library's Best English Language Novels of the 20th Century -- full title list with detailed reviews
- The Publishing Triangle: The 100 Best Lesbian and Gay Novels
- Top 100 Best Novels List: Radcliffe Publishing Course -- 1998 rival to Modern Library list