If you asked me to list my five favorite authors, who made it on the list would usually depend on when you asked me. But (aside from Shakespeare) the list would always include Mark Helprin. I've read Winter's Tale five times, and A Soldier of the Great War and Memoir from Antproof Case twice.
Mark Helprin's prose is sublime. He can transport me like no other author can.
Harvard Magazine profiles Helprin:
"The study where Mark Helprin writes his novels and short stories, essays, speeches, letters, and Wall Street Journal columns is a spectacular room. Fifty feet long and nearly 30 feet wide, it holds two desks; there’s a fireplace at one end, and some fishing rods hang aloft on display. Everything is in immaculate order."
I wish I had the time to rave about his writing, but I need to get ready for a trip. Just go out and read his work (his new novel, Freddy and Fredericka is just published). You won't be sorry.