As part of Critical Distance, the online journal I started up in May 2009 but which I have since discontinued due to lack of interest, I compiled a bibliography of critical essays on a selected number of contemporary American writers that I intended to make available as a permanent feature of the site. Since CD was going to be devoted to long-ish essays on writers and works after 1980 (works for which a case could be made they might last), the bibliography included writers who had published significant fiction during this period.
I am posting this bibliography (with links) now, here. It's on a new site I'm calling Secondary Sources, which will be devoted to similar such "scholarly" exercises that really would not be appropriate as posts on The Reading Experience. (You can also find here my previous critical essay on Russell Banks, "Contextualized Naturalism: The Artfulness of Russell Banks's Affliction.") These will include essays on contemporary fiction that are indeed a tad too scholarly (some might say "pedantic") or just too long for ordinary blog posts, as well as other surveys or discussions of critical books and articles on post-1980 fiction. A bibliographic listing of online interviews with contemporary writers will be posted to the site fairly soon, although I am going to let the current bibliography remain at the top of the page for a while.
The bibliographies are intended to facilitate critical discussion of contemporary American fiction by identifying serious online criticism and interviews on which further criticism might draw. By no means do I suggest that these lists are sufficient as a basis for such criticism. The voluminous extant criticism in print journals that has not been opened up to web readers is still essential for a thorough survey of critical commentary on individual writers, as are the published books examining many of these writers and their work. Perhaps the day will come when the journals hoarding this material will stop trying to collect exorbitant fees from it, especially that which is locked away in archives, and will make it available free of charge online, actually contributing to what ought to be the mission of scholarly journals in the first place, which is precisely to foster informed discussion of the subjects on which they focus.
In the meantime, I will continue to supplement this first bibliography with essays on writers I haven't yet included or additional essays that come to my attention. I don't consider it an authoritative list of the writers who really matter, the "best," although it is the initial list of those writers I think of when the question of who does matter arises. Perhaps readers will suggest other writers who should be included and/or will forward me other links that could be added.