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Age of Innocence, by Edith Wharton
From Encyclopedia of American Literature
An informed look at the moneyed class and of the elite that governed the social life of New York in the 1870s, this fictional treatment of the setting of Wharton's youth won a Pulitzer Prize.
Babbitt, by Sinclair Lewis
From Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable
The leading character in Sinclair Lewis's novel of this name (1922). He is a prosperous ‘realtor’ or estate agent in the western city of Zenith, a simple, likeable fellow, with faint aspirations to culture that are forever smothered in the froth and futile hustle of US business life.
Catch-22, by Joseph Heller
From Brewer's Curious Titles
A novel (1961) by Joseph Heller (1923-99) about the experiences of Captain Yossarian of the 256th United States (Army) bombing squadron in Italy during the Second World War.
Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell
From Encyclopedia of American Literature
Selling almost 1.5 million copies in its first year, Gone with the Wind is often cited as the fastest-selling book in U.S. publishing history. The success of the Pulitzer Prize–winning novel surprised Margaret Mitchell, a lifelong Atlanta resident, who described her only book as “a simple yarn of fairly simple people.” The novel, which runs to 1037 pages, presents a romanticized version of the Old South as it follows the fortunes of heroine Scarlett O’Hara from her pre–Civil War life as a spoiled Southern belle on Tara, her family's Georgia plantation, through the war and its aftermath.
In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote
From World of Criminal Justice, Gale
Truman Capote’s novel In Cold Blood marked the beginning of a new literary genre that has been called the nonfiction novel, literary journalism, and faction. Essentially, the style involves taking a factual event and presenting it in a fictionalized form.
Moby Dick, by Herman Melville: Topic
A novel by Herman Melville, published in New York and London in 1851. The British title was The Whale. The highly complex story begins with the narrator Ishmael's decision to go to sea.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain: Topic
A novel by Mark Twain, published in 1876. Tom is an intelligent and imaginative boy, who is nevertheless careless and mischievous.
The Catcher in the Rye, by J. D. Salinger: Topic
From The Cambridge Guide to Children's Books in English
Novel by J.D. Salinger (1919-), about adolescence rather than for adolescents, and widely seen as a precursor of (or to blame for) probably the most common form of writing for young adults.
The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck: Topic
The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck's epic Pulitzer Prize winning novel of the Great Depression, tells the story of the Joads, once independent farmers but now Dustbowl refugees, migrant laborers on the road to California after the bank forecloses on their Oklahoma farm.
The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald: Topic
A novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, published in 1925.
The narrator, Nick Carraway, rents a cottage in West Egg, Long Island, next door to the mansion of Jay Gatsby and across the water from the home of Tom Buchanan and his wife Daisy, Carraway's cousin.
The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway
From The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Houghton Mifflin
A novel by Ernest Hemingway about a group of young Americans living in Europe in the 1920s. It captures the disillusionment and cynicism of the lost generation.
To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia
Novel by the US writer Harper Lee (born 1926) published in 1960. Set in a small town in Alabama in the 1930s, it is a dramatic depiction of racial tension and prejudice.
Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888): Topic
U.S. novelist, noted for her children's books, especially Little Women (1869).
Truman Capote (1924-1984): Topic
U.S. writer; his novels include Other Voices, Other Rooms (1948) and In Cold Blood (1964), based on an actual multiple murder.
William Faulkner (1897-1962): Topic
1897-1962, US novelist, short-story writer, and poet; noted for The Sound and the Fury (1929) and As I Lay Dying (1930); Nobel prize for literature 1949.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940): Topic
(Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald), 1896–1940, American novelist and short-story writer, b. St. Paul, Minn. He is ranked among the great American novelists.
Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961): Topic
U.S. novelist and short-story writer. His novels include The Sun Also Rises (1926), A Farewell to Arms (1929), For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940), and The Old Man and the Sea (1952): Nobel prize for literature 1954.
Stephen King (1947- ): Topic
Writer, born in Portland, Maine, USA. He graduated from his state university and continued to live in Maine, at first supporting himself with odd jobs while establishing his writing career.
Herman Melville (1819-1891): Topic
1819–91, American author, b. New York City, considered one of the great American writers and a major figure in world literature.
Toni Morrison (1931-2019): Topic
Novels, criticism; editor In 1993, Toni Morrison became the first black woman to receive the Nobel Prize for literature.
J. D. Salinger (1919-2010): Topic
has gained prominence and cultlike acclaim from a large cross section of the American public on the basis of a rather limited literary output-one novel, three collections of novellas and short stories, and several additional uncollected short stories.
John Steinbeck (1902-1968): Topic
1902–68, American writer, b. Salinas, Calif., studied at Stanford. He is probably best remembered for his strong sociological novel The Grapes of Wrath.
Mark Twain (1835-1910): Topic
U.S. novelist and humorist, famous for his classics The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885).
Alice Walker (1944- ): Topic
American writer whose works include the novels Meridian (1976) and The Color Purple (1982), for which she won a Pulitzer Prize.