TIME Magazine has just released their 2012 Time 100 Poll inviting readers to "[c]ast your votes for the leaders, artists, innovators, icons and heroes that you think are the most influential people in the world." The reader's choice will be published in TIME's April 17 issue, along with the full editor-selected Top 100 list.
The list of candidates is varied and long, but by my quick count, 54 of them fall in the "artist" category. Of those 54, only 4 are primarily known as authors—Suzanne Collins, Pamela Druckerman, George R.R. Martin and Ann Patchett—although Collins and Martin are on the list mainly because of film and TV adaptations of their work. There are 5 more contenders with a literary connection—Jaycee Dugard, Stephen Colbert, Bill McKibben, Ree Drummond and Jeff Bezos. If you count all 9, that's just 16% of the list.
Well, you might think, literary culture these days is so fractured that it's difficult to call a writer "influential." Seems like a decent argument, until you look at some of the other artists. Is there really no one in publishing these days who is more influential than LFMAO? Ashton Kutcher? Or even Daniel Craig, no matter how good he looks in swim trunks? If so, perhaps the industry really is doomed.
Is there an author or publisher you think TIME should have added to their list? Or do you feel this level of literary representation is fair?
p.s. If you want to cast a vote for any of the literary contenders, click on their names. The poll is open until April 6.