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Author Saul Bellow rides the bus
A story of lost innocence and shattered illusions, AMERICAN PASTORAL considers the rise and fall of immigrant generations in America, the cultural and political volatility of the 1960s, and the ways the seemingly successful rise and fall from grace.
Book cover of THE GRAPES OF WRATH.
First regarded as a protest novel and only later as a work of art, John Steinbeck's 1939 novel is the wrenching story of the "Okies," the Oklahoma farmers dispossessed from their land and forced to become migrant farmers in California during the Great Depression.
Book cover of THE HOUSE OF MIRTH.
A brilliant novel of manners and an indictment of the hypocrisy of the social elite, THE HOUSE OF MIRTH tells the story of the slow social downfall of Lily Bart, a beautiful and once-wealthy New York socialite.
Photo of Saul Bellow.
The recipient of three National Book Awards as well as the Nobel Prize, Saul Bellow was a proflific novelist, playwright, and critic. His best work is characterized by an exuberant, comic style.
Photo of Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
F. Scott Fitzgerald was the leading writer of America's Jazz Age; his chief talent lay in his ability to be both a leading participant in the high life he described and a detached observer of it.
Photo of Theodore Dreiser.
The foremost American writer in the Naturalism movement, Theodore Dreiser based many of his powerful and sobering novels on true events. He often portrays his characters as victims of apparently meaningless incidents and forces they can neither control nor understand.
Take the Quiz:
Which two childhood friends later modeled characters in their books after one another?
In this novel that takes place during the Great Depression, hope is symbolized by a young woman's pregnancy.
To Tell the Truth:
When I gave birth to my daughter, I said: "I hope she'll be a fool -- that's the best thing a girl can be in this world."
Context & Hypertext:
Take a look inside the FBI's file on John Steinbeck and read a postcard Edith Wharton sent to Henry James.
The American Novel