Or - sorry: The most important intellectual figure is what they say, not best novelist. Which sounds daunting. It sort of dusts his novels with daunt too, if I can say that - as if they weren't already physically imposing, which they are, the three novels that stretch out over 1,200 pages to make up his sinuous, seductive trilogyYour Face Tomorrow.
I remember reading an article on Marias that suggests his books don’t have fixed beginnings and endings, that they all tend to drift into others. I’m anxious to read the two other Oxford books you mentioned, Kevin, but I’ll see how it changes things on the back side of reading Your Face Tomorrow. I like coming to an author like this: not much knowledge about him or her beforehand, but a large accomplished backlist to lose yourself in!
One of these seems to land near the center of the radius: "How can I not know today your face tomorrow, the face that is there already or is being forged beneath the face you show me or beneath the mask you are wearing(?)"