Forget the Brooklyn Literary 100! Who Are the Brooklyn Literary 10?

Photo: Everett Bogue

We have friends who are already up in arms about Doree Shafrir's list of "The Brooklyn Literary 100" in today's Observer (which is, we realize, the point). As for us, we like these kinds of lists — we are the kinds of nerds who got super-excited in college about Granta's Best Young American Novelists contest. In the end, what is disappointing about the list, though, is — frankly — that it's 100 people long. The fun of these kinds of faux-honors is not that they're completist but that they're exclusionary!

In that spirit, we decided to whittle down the Observer's list a little, based on our own totally arbitrary criteria. We're proud to present Vulture's Brooklyn Literary 50, Brooklyn Literary 25, Brooklyn Literary 10, Brooklyn Literary 5, and Brooklyn Literary 1. Who made the cut? Who didn't? Find out after the jump!

The Brooklyn Literary 50
Brooklyn Heights
Elizabeth Gaffney, editor, A Public Space; author
Philip Levine, poet

Clinton Hill
Susan Choi, author
Fiona Maazel, author
Benjamin Nugent, author
Meghan O’Rourke, literary editor, Slate; poetry editor, The Paris Review; poet
Anna Stein, agent, Irene Skolnick and Associates
Matt Weiland, editor, The Paris Review

Boerum Hill
Sarah Crichton, editor, Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Courtney Hodell, editor, Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Jonathan Lethem, author
Katie Roiphe, author
Jonathan Burnham Schwartz, author

Carroll Gardens
Kurt Andersen, author; radio host; editor-at-large, Random House
Joshua Ferris, author
David Grann, staff writer, The New Yorker; author
Phillip Lopate, author and essayist
Richard Nash, editorial director, Soft Skull Press

Cobble Hill
Geoff Kloske, publisher, Riverhead
Stephen Metcalf, critic-at-large, Slate
Nathaniel Rich, editor, The Paris Review; author
Eric Simonoff, agent, Janklow & Nesbitt
Alex Star, editor, The New York Times Magazine

Ditmas Park
Roger Hodge, editor-in-chief, Harper’s

Fort Greene
Jennifer Egan, author
Amitav Ghosh, author
Brigid Hughes, editor-in-chief, A Public Space
Trena Keating, editor-in-chief, Dutton
Jhumpa Lahiri, author
Simon Lipskar, agent, Writers House
Emily Takoudes, editor, Ecco
Colson Whitehead, author

Park Slope
Paul Auster, author
Jonathan Safran Foer, author
Paula Fox, author
Ben Greenman, editor, The New Yorker
Colin Harrison, editor, Harper’s; author
Kathryn Harrison, author
Edward Kastenmeier, editor, Knopf
Nicole Krauss, author
Sarah McGrath, editor, Riverhead
Darin Strauss, author
Larry Weissman, agent, Larry Weissman Literary

Prospect Heights
Becky Cole, editor, Broadway Books
Keith Gessen, editor, n+1; author
Philip Gourevitch, editor-in-chief, The Paris Review; staff writer, The New Yorker; author
Larissa MacFarquhar, staff writer, The New Yorker
Rick Moody, author
George Packer, staff writer, The New Yorker; author

Windsor Terrace
Myla Goldberg, author

The Brooklyn Literary 25
Brooklyn Heights
Philip Levine, poet

Clinton Hill
Meghan O’Rourke, literary editor, Slate; poetry editor, The Paris Review; poet

Boerum Hill
Sarah Crichton, editor, Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Jonathan Lethem, author
Jonathan Burnham Schwartz, author

Carroll Gardens
Kurt Andersen, author; radio host; editor-at-large, Random House
Joshua Ferris, author
Phillip Lopate, author and essayist

Cobble Hill
Stephen Metcalf, critic-at-large, Slate

Ditmas Park
Roger Hodge, editor-in-chief, Harper’s

Fort Greene
Jennifer Egan, author
Amitav Ghosh, author
Jhumpa Lahiri, author
Simon Lipskar, agent, Writers House
Colson Whitehead, author

Park Slope
Paul Auster, author
Jonathan Safran Foer, author
Paula Fox, author
Kathryn Harrison, author
Nicole Krauss, author
Sarah McGrath, editor, Riverhead
Darin Strauss, author

Prospect Heights
Philip Gourevitch, editor-in-chief, The Paris Review; staff writer, The New Yorker; author
Rick Moody, author

Windsor Terrace
Myla Goldberg, author

The Brooklyn Literary 10
Brooklyn Heights
Philip Levine, poet

Boerum Hill
Sarah Crichton, editor, Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Jonathan Lethem, author

Carroll Gardens
Kurt Andersen, author; radio host; editor-at-large, Random House

Fort Greene
Jhumpa Lahiri, author
Colson Whitehead, author

Park Slope
Paul Auster, author
Jonathan Safran Foer, author

Prospect Heights
Philip Gourevitch, editor-in-chief, The Paris Review; staff writer, The New Yorker; author
Rick Moody, author

The Brooklyn Literary 5

Boerum Hill
Jonathan Lethem, author

Fort Greene
Jhumpa Lahiri, author

Park Slope
Paul Auster, author
Jonathan Safran Foer, author

Prospect Heights
Philip Gourevitch, editor-in-chief, The Paris Review; staff writer, The New Yorker; author

Whittling it down from here was tough, though. Who gets the top slot? Gourevitch, for his imperial position atop the most lit'ry of magazines? Foer, for his $3.5 million brownstone? Lahiri, for having the No. 1 best seller and the Pulitzer? But then we remembered — which of these people wrote the original Brooklyn-gentrification movie and was played in that movie by William Hurt? Who is, basically, the forefather of the current Brooklyn literary scene, even if he hasn't published a major book in quite some time? Once we figured that out, our choice was easy.

The Brooklyn Literary 1

Park Slope
Paul Auster, author

The Brooklyn Literary 100 [NYO]