This is the definitive literary guide to the one hundred best American novels, giving witty, concise, and insightful reviews; historical and literary context; and opinions as to why these novels were chosen as must-reads. It also features an in-depth introduction to the theme of the American novel.
Covering the works of major literary figures and some lesser-known writers who you may not have discovered yet, this pocket-size resource is like a friend's recommendation in helping you find your way to great reading, with just enough background information, plot, and details about how readers and critics have felt about these works over the years to pique your curiosity.
From literary masterpieces such as James Fenimore Cooper's "The Last of the Mohicans" to books that changed the direction of American literature such as Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter" to writers who defined an era such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Jack Kerouac to contemporary novels such as Toni Morrison's "Beloved" and Barbara Kingsolver's "The Poisonwood Bible," these must-read novels cover American literature from nineteenth-century classics to present-day bestsellers. The guide also includes literary gems from authors such as Dawn Powell and William Maxwell, writers who didn't achieve the same level of success or fame as some of their contemporaries but have made notable literary contributions nonetheless, . The book also features a "Read-On" suggestion list of up to five hundred more recommendations for further reading.