This post was spurred into print by the challenge from a blog called
Fiction Fan’s Book Reviews—sign in, you’ll enjoy it!
http://www.fictionfanblog.wordpress.com. Her latest post
is “Great American Novel Quest” and she asks her readers to think
about ten American novels they’d choose as the best.
She cites a few varying opinions of the criteria used–and the whole
thing got me inspired to come up with my own list. It’s a list that
hopefully encompasses the American theme, spirit, condition, and
overall picture of who, what we are. I think the books should be
ones that everyone should “have under his or her belt”.
Some lists might include newer American novels, but my list
has been seasoned by time and I stand by it. In abc order by
author, they are:
Dreiser, Theodore An American Tragedy
Faulkner, William Light in August
Fitzgerald, F. Scott The Great Gatsby
Hammett, Dashiell The Maltese Falcon
Heller, Joseph Catch-22
Lee, Harper To Kill A Mockingbird
Salinger, J.D. Catcher in the Rye
Steinbeck, John The Grapes of Wrath
Twain, Mark Huckleberry Finn
Updike, John Rabbit, Run
My question to you is: can you know America if you haven’t read them?