American literature – the reading list

Thanks to everyone who made suggestions for my America literature long list.

With over 35 authors and many, many suggested titles, I am not going to be able to read all of them this year, or even next year or the year after. Top of the list with many different people nominating was The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter. Carson McCuller’s first novel, published to instant acclaim in 1940, has been my homework for a week now. It is an amazingly powerful book.DSC_0638

Once I finish it, and I’ll be sad to do so, I want to make some inroads into the other list. What to do? Where to start?

I had an idea. For my birthday two years ago, Robert gave me the Penguin Modern Classics boxed set. Most of them are short stories. Some of them are American. I have matched the suggested list, to what’s in the box and have come up with these as a starting point. I haven’t made much progress on the box, so this reading exercise kills two birds with one stone.

In no particular order.

Dorothy Parker – The Sexes (includes five short pieces – The Sexes, The Lonely Leave, The Little Hours, Glory in the Daytime, Lolita)

F. Scott Fitzgerald – Babylon Revisited (includes three short pieces – Babylon, The Cut-Glass Bowl, The Lost Decade)

Eudora Welty – Moon Lake

Raymond Chandler – Killer in the Rain

Shirley Jackson – The Tooth (includes five stories including The Lottery)

Carson McCullers – Wunderkind (includes four pieces – Wunderkind, The Jockey, Madame Zilensky and the King of Finland)

Truman Capote – Children on Their Birthdays (includes three pieces Children on Their Birthdays, A Christmas Memory, A Tree of Night).

I’ll let you know how I get on. Meanwhile, back to The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter.

You can buy the Penguin Modern Classic Boxed Set, The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter and many other fine American novels here - Australia's #1 online bookstore