American Fiction Books
“Impractical ramblingness + dystopian LOLs + addictiveness in and of itself” and more ... David Foster Wallace, whose Infinite Jest was chosen as one of the most quintessentially American works of fiction of all time. Photograph: Steve Liss/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images
What is American fiction? Actually, what is America? The answer to that is probably very different within the United States and outside. Asking yourself how others see you is a healthy exercise for any culture, and US books site Literary Hub did just that to mark the Fourth of July weekend, inviting non-American authors to suggest the quintessential American fiction titles.
They contacted almost 50 writers, editors, publishers, critics and translators from 30 countries and asked each to choose three books. The selection of 96 titles they came up with is fascinating, so do take a look at their site for the full list. Among the results of this “deeply unscientific survey”: 19 of the chosen titles are by women; the least popular decade is the 1940s; and the most cited writers are William Faulkner, Herman Melville, JD Salinger and Mark Twain.
The subjects range from the Great Depression to the Vietnam war and the great American road trip, but the most popular decade is the 2000s. Here are some of the most interesting picks.
Nathanael West (1933)
A dark comedy about disillusionment after the Great Depression in the form of a troubled journalist who failed to give the proper advice to his lonely readers. –Andrés Felipe Solano (Colombia)
The American hunger to comprehend all, and the impossibility of it, permeated half by cheerful melancholy and half by demonic rage. –
David Foster Wallace (1996)
Impractical ramblingness + audiovisual media + drugs + characters full of trepidatious braggadocio created by a confidently unsure author + competitive sports + dystopian LOLs + addictiveness in and of itself + maths = U. S. of A
Carson McCullers (1940)
If I see my emotional suitcase as a reader and think of American fiction, this book is the first thing I pack. The choice of a European reader looking for non-quintessential American fiction and finding it in the Big South, yes or yes. –Elena Ramírez (Spain), editorial director at Seix Barral and director of fiction at Internacional Grupo Planeta
Mark Twain (1884/5)
This is where it all starts, the new world called America, no other work of fiction before had created characters like Huck and Jim, or the landscape with Mississippi running through its veins like blood, and no one had ever used language the way Huck and Jim did. Along with this, Huck Finn also set the stage for great works of American fiction becoming moral guardians of America, reminding us that it is preferable to go to hell but do the right thing. –Azar Nafisi (Iran), author
The landscapes of honest colours, fata morganas and melting mirages have become over time an America more real than America itself, a reimagined America which in the end is, must be, the most enduring (and beautiful) country of all. –Lila Azam Zanganeh (France), author
Lydia Davis (2009)
No one has responded more brilliantly than Davis to the garrulous silence of contemporary America, the depths at which its banality twists inside. –Rana Dasgupta (England), author
Part social comedy, part Dostoevskian study of the male gaze and America’s top export, wild capitalism.
William Faulkner (1932)
For explaining the social and psychological fabric of the American South, which casts a shadow over the whole US. –Hamid Ismailov (Uzbekistan), writer and journalistteam success the national society of leadership and success reddit will success spoil rock hunter? 600 lb life success stories bone marrow transplant success rate breastfeeding success bumble success stories carpal tunnel surgery success rate conjoined triangles of success continuing success coq10 fertility success crystal for success dress for success chicago ek success entrepeneur success stories equipped for reading success everyday success team fistula surgery success rate getting off lexapro success stories great success meme hair transplant success rate heart transplant success rate ivf success rates by age jmu student success center keno success lpr success stories massage envy lake success measuring success quotes microsoft customer success manager salary palmers skin success pgs normal embryo success rate pillars of success podcast success pyramid of success quotes for success woman road to success seven spiritual laws of success spell success success factor wellstar success in french success is not final failure is not fatal success positive motivational quotes success poster success rates of ivf success winston churchill quotes success word