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Top Sellers in American Fiction
printed in its entirety in Life Magazine on September 1, 1952. It inspired a buying frenzy - selling over five million copies of the
magazine in just two days!
The story about an aging Cuban
fisherman wrangling a large marlin in the gulf stream was written in
1951 in Cuba and published in 1952. In 1953, it won the Pulitzer Prize
for Fiction and led to Hemingway's nomination for the Nobel Prize in
Literature in 1954.
Man's struggle against nature is the... Read more
stands as a pivotal piece of American literature. The story follows
the Joad family (and thousands of others) as they are driven from the
Oklahoma farm where they are sharecroppers during the Great
Depression. The drought, economic hardship, and changes in financial
and agricultural industries send them searching for dignity and
honest work in the bountiful state of California.
The novel earned Steinbeck the Pulitzer
Prize for fiction in 1940, and inspired the... Read more
serialized in The Little Review from March 1918 to December 1920 and later
published by Shakespeare and Company in 1922. Originally, Joyce conceived of
Ulysses as a short story to be included in Dubliners, but decided instead to
publish it as a long novel, situated as a sort of sequel to A Portrait of the
Artist as a Young Man, picking up Stephen Dedalusâ€™s life over a year later.
Ulysses takes place on a single day, June 16, 1904, in... Read more
considered to be one of the authorâ€™s greatest works. Set in New York City and
Long Island during the Roaring Twenties, the focus of the story is (of course)
its title character, Jay Gatsby, and his unswerving desire to be reunited with
Daisy Buchanan, the love he lost five years earlier. However, Nick Carraway,
who happens to be both Gatsbyâ€™s neighbor and Daisyâ€™s cousin, narrates Gatsby's journey
from poverty to... Read more
Huckleberry Finn, written by Mark Twain, is generally regarded as the
sequel to his earlier novel, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; however, in
Huckleberry Finn, Twain focused increasingly on the institution of
slavery and the South. Narrated by Huckleberry â€œHuckâ€ Finn in Southern
antebellum vernacular, the novel gives vivid descriptions of people and
daily life along the Mississippi River while following the adventure of... Read more
Farewell to Arms is the story of Lieutenant Frederic Henry, an American serving
as an ambulance driver in the Italian army, and his love affair with an English
nurse named Catherine Barkley. The novel is semi-autobiographical, based on
Hemingway's own experiences serving in the Italian campaigns during the war.
While some assume the title of the work to be taken from a poem by 16th century
English dramatist George Peele, others believe it to be a simple... Read more
acclaimed work. Set during World War II, the novel uses a distinctive non-chronological
third-person omniscient narration, mainly focusing on the life of Captain John
Yossarian, a U.S. Army Air Forces B-25 bombardier. Occasionally, the narrator
also shows us how other characters, such as the chaplain or Hungry Joe,
experience the world around them. As the novelâ€™s events are described from the
different points of view through separate... Read more
the most famous and influential of the Beat novels, Jack Kerouac's On
the Road represents much of what
made the Beat and Counterculture movements so unique and important.
The plot concerning the road trips and adventures experienced by
Kerouac and his friends is well-known, as are the rumors and tall
tales of the books' production.
often claimed that the wrote On the Road
in a mere three weeks on a single 120-foot scroll of paper. Although
that scroll does indeed exist and is featured... Read more
American Fiction Books & Ephemera
Caldwell tells the story of a rural, proletariat family in South
Carolina whose lives seemingly revolve around the pursuit of sex and
money. A commentary on the plight of the working class sans union
protection in the 1930s, the novel also explores themes on land and
resource conservation. Due to the sexual imagery, Caldwell was sued
for the dissemination of pornography, but ultimately prevailed in
court. The case and decision is considered significant in the... Read more