Some of you may have noticed that lately I have been mostly reading and reviewing classics(just looking at the sidebar under 'Jess is Reading' confirms this).
Well I have been concentrating on classics but more specifically American Classics. I'm not sure why but I have always been drawn to American Classic literature a lot more than English or French etc. I guess because it excites me, I relish the prospect of reading Steinbeck or Wharton far more than the prospect of reading Dickens or Bronte.
I have decided to embrace this and I enrolled on a American Literature course (its not a qualification but purely for fun). The first session was last week and featured The Scarlet Letter and the course ends in March with Faulkner. For this course I'll be reading around 15 American Novels which includes authors such as Hemingway, Updike and Plath but I also want to add my own reading list to run along side this until March(ish).
I have come up with a rough list of additional American novels which I will read and includes authors such as Melville, Twain and Crane but its also a list which contains more modern writers such as Toni Morrison and McCarthy. I don't want to get bogged down with endless classics so I have also added some quite recent books such as The Hours and Olive Kitteridge which were Pulitzer prize winners.
There is now an additional page on the blog titled 'The American Project' which I haven't finished yet but will eventually contain all the books I will read during this time in the date order that they were published. This isn't a 'challenge' and as such I do not have a deadline or a set number of books I have to read, I'll keep going with it until I get bored really.
So that's my reading plan for the next few months and I wanted to ask if anyone had any suggestions for me? The suggested books can be either old or more recent but must come under what you would consider either an American Classic or be what you would consider to be a great American Author. Please don't assume I am knowledgeable in this area, I had no idea who Richard Wright was until I read Black Boy and I didn't know what a 'beat' writer was until I recently read On the Road. So any suggestions (even if you think its an obvious one) are most welcome.
Posted by Jess