Kim at Reading Matters is currently running a poll on "if you could invite one author to dinner, who would you choose"? So far, "none of the above" is easily winning, with Dan Brown coming a poor second.
Kim is wondering how on Earth Dan Brown could be second (after "none"). Well, look at the options: John Banville, Zadie Smith, Paul Auster, Anne Tyler, Barbara Vine (aka Ruth Rendell) and David Mitchell. One may well have a view on the merit of the books written by these authors, but in terms of dinner companions, they pale by comparison with the thoughts of a meal with Minx, Skint, et al. (Hovis and gin, delightful — easy on the Hovis in my case).
I am emphatically not a fan of the books of Will Self, but I would take odds that he’s a more rewarding dinner companion than those listed in the poll. (Frank will be relieved that Bill Kaufmann did not get an invite.)
Of course, my vote would be for JKR: honorary witch, author supreme, mother and generally brilliant person in virtually all of what she says — which isn’t much, or often, or PC, and all the more welcome for it.