Lara Vapnyar, Still Here
Susan Hill, Howards End Is on the Landing
Strange as it seems, some people do fall into that first group. Many college professors, book critics and various intellectuals, real or imagined, seem to feel this way. They favor books that only they and a few others can really appreciate, whether they actually understand these books or not.
The best works of literature offer something different for different readers. Those who just want a good story will find it in Tartt, Patchett and Walter as in Dickens, Twain and Hardy. Those who want deeper meaning will find that, as well.
Those words above from Susan Hill come near the end of her discussion of novelist V.S. Naipaul. She says of him, "He is a complex thinker, a magnificent prose writer, a painter on a broad canvas, able to portray not just a place but a continent and a philosophy, a history and a civilization. Yet he is always clear, always readable, deep but never obscure, which surely adds to the measure of his achievement."
Deep but never obscure. That sounds to me like a great definition of a great writer.