Jack Vance is one of the more graceful of the post-war American writers. Unfortunately, since he works in the slum genre of science fiction, he's received nowhere near enough credit. The author of over ninety novels, Vance has some of the drollest dialog since Jane Austen and is a remarkable stylist, with a touch of mauve decadence. Early Wallace Stevens, if Wallace Stevens had churned out SF for paychecks. Vance also was one of the first SF writers to introduce anthropology, and travel writing, into SF. Think Douglas Adams but more understated and inventive. I laughed out loud reading him as a kid and I still do today.
I posted about Vance in my old LJ but I can't find the entry. Hating LJ these days.