American literature

American authorAmerican writerAmericanUnited StatesliteratureAmerican novelAmerican writersLiterature of the United StateswriterAmerican letters
American literature is literature written or produced in the United States of America and its preceding colonies (for specific discussions of poetry and theater, see Poetry of the United States and Theater in the United States).wikipedia
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English literature

The American literary tradition thus began as part of the broader tradition of English literature.
By 1913, the British Empire held sway over 412 million people, NaN% of the world population at the time, During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries these colonies and the USA started to produce their own significant literary traditions in English.

Uncle Tom's Cabin

Uncle Tom’s CabinTopsySimon Legree
The political conflict surrounding abolitionism inspired the writings of William Lloyd Garrison and Harriet Beecher Stowe in her famous novel Uncle Tom's Cabin.
Uncle Tom's Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly, is an anti-slavery novel by American author Harriet Beecher Stowe.

Mark Twain

Samuel ClemensSamuel Langhorne ClemensTwain
Mark Twain (the pen name used by Samuel Langhorne Clemens) was the first major American writer to be born away from the East Coast.
He was lauded as the "greatest humorist this country has produced", and William Faulkner called him "the father of American literature".

Ernest Hemingway

HemingwayHemingwayesqueErnest Hemmingway
Ernest Hemingway became famous with The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms; in 1954, he won the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Many of his works are considered classics of American literature.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Scott FitzgeraldFitzgeraldFrancis Scott Fitzgerald
The short stories and novels of F. Scott Fitzgerald captured the mood of the 1920s, and John Dos Passos wrote about the war.
Perhaps the most notable member of the "Lost Generation" of the 1920s, Fitzgerald is now widely regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century.

William Faulkner

FaulknerFaulknerian[William] Faulkner
William Faulkner became one of the greatest American writers with novels like The Sound and the Fury.
William Cuthbert Faulkner ( September 25, 1897 – July 6, 1962) was an American writer and Nobel Prize laureate from Oxford, Mississippi.

To Kill a Mockingbird

novel of the same nameTo Kill a Mocking Bird1960 novel of the same name
From the end of World War II until the early 1970s many popular works in modern American literature were produced, like Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird.
Instantly successful, widely read in high schools and middle schools in the United States, it has become a classic of modern American literature, winning the Pulitzer Prize.

James Fenimore Cooper

Fenimore CooperJames Fennimore CooperCooper
James Fenimore Cooper was a notable author best known for his novel The Last of the Mohicans written in 1826.
His historical romances draw a picture of frontier and Native American life in the early American days which created a unique form of American literature.

Susanna Rowson

Susanna Haswell RowsonSusannah Haswell RowsonSusanna (Haswell) Rowson
Susanna Rowson is best known for her novel Charlotte: A Tale of Truth, published in London in 1791.
Rowson was the author of the 1791 novel Charlotte Temple, the most popular best-seller in American literature until Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin was published serially in 1851-1852 and authored the first human geography textbook Rowson's Abridgement of Universal Geography in 1805.

Catharine Sedgwick

Catharine Maria SedgwickCatherine Maria SedgwickCatharine Maria
Catherine Maria Sedgwick wrote A New England Tale in 1822, Redwood in 1824, Hope Leslie in 1827, and The Linwoods in 1835.
Her topics contributed to the creation of a national literature, enhanced by her detailed descriptions of nature.

The Last of the Mohicans

Last of the Mohicansnovelnovel of the same name
James Fenimore Cooper was a notable author best known for his novel The Last of the Mohicans written in 1826.
The novel has been one of the most popular English-language novels since its publication and is frequently assigned reading in American literature courses.

Letters from an American Farmer

As the colonies moved toward independence from Britain, an important discussion of American culture and identity came from the French immigrant J. Hector St. John de Crèvecœur, whose Letters from an American Farmer addresses the question "What is an American?"
The work is recognised as being one of the first in the canon of American literature, and has influenced a diverse range of subsequent works.

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

The Adventures of Huckleberry FinnHuckleberry FinnThe Adventures of Huck Finn
His regional masterpieces were the memoir Life on the Mississippi and the novels Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Commonly named among the Great American Novels, the work is among the first in major American literature to be written throughout in vernacular English, characterized by local color regionalism.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Tom SawyerAdventures of Tom SawyerMuff Potter
His regional masterpieces were the memoir Life on the Mississippi and the novels Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Though overshadowed by its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the book is by many considered a masterpiece of American literature, and was one of the first novels to be written on a typewriter.

Emily Dickinson

DickinsonEmily DickensonDickinson, Emily
Some of America's greatest poets of the nineteenth century include Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson.
Dickinson is taught in American literature and poetry classes in the United States from middle school to college.

Edward Taylor

Among lyric poets, the most important figures are Anne Bradstreet, who wrote personal poems about her family and homelife; pastor Edward Taylor, whose best poems, the Preparatory Meditations, were written to help him prepare for leading worship; and Michael Wigglesworth, whose best-selling poem, The Day of Doom (1660), describes the time of judgment.
The appearance of these poems, wrote Taylor's biographer Norman S. Grabo, "established [Taylor] almost at once and without quibble as not only America's finest colonial poet, but as one of the most striking writers in the whole range of American literature."

John Updike

UpdikeUpdike, JohnUpdikean
Although his major works, including Tropic of Cancer and Black Spring, would not be free of the label of obscenity until 1962, their themes and stylistic innovations had already exerted a major influence on succeeding generations of American writers, and paved the way for sexually frank 1960s novels by John Updike, Philip Roth, Gore Vidal, John Rechy and William Styron.
His work has attracted significant critical attention and praise, and he is widely considered one of the great American writers of his time.

William S. Burroughs

William BurroughsBurroughsWilliam S Burroughs
Among the most representative achievements of the Beats in the novel are Jack Kerouac's On the Road (1957), the chronicle of a soul-searching travel through the continent, and William S. Burroughs's Naked Lunch (1959), a more experimental work structured as a series of vignettes relating, among other things, the narrator's travels and experiments with hard drugs.
J. G. Ballard considered Burroughs to be "the most important writer to emerge since the Second World War", while Norman Mailer declared him "the only American writer who may be conceivably possessed by genius".

Southern Gothic

GothicSouthern Gothic musicAmerican gothic
Among its most respected practitioners was Flannery O'Connor, who developed a distinctive Southern gothic esthetic in which characters acted at one level as people and at another as symbols.
Southern Gothic is a subgenre of Gothic fiction in American literature that takes place in the American South.

The Grapes of Wrath

Tom JoadGrapes of Wrathnovel of the same name
Depression era writers included John Steinbeck, notable for his novel The Grapes of Wrath.

George Tucker (politician)

George TuckerProf. George Tucker
George Tucker produced in 1824 the first fiction of Virginia colonial life with The Valley of Shenandoah.


Chicago, IllinoisChicago, ILCity of Chicago
And in Sister Carrie, Theodore Dreiser (1871–1945) portrayed a country girl who moves to Chicago and becomes a kept woman.
At least three short periods in the history of Chicago have had a lasting influence on American literature.

American Academy of Arts and Letters

National Institute of Arts and LettersAmerican Academy and Institute of Arts and LettersThe American Academy of Arts and Letters
The American Academy of Arts and Letters is a 250-member honor society; its goal is to "foster, assist, and sustain excellence" in American literature, music, and art.

Katherine Anne Porter

Katherine Ann Porter
Other important practitioners of the form include Katherine Anne Porter, Eudora Welty, John Cheever, Raymond Carver, Tobias Wolff, and the more experimental Donald Barthelme.
An expanded edition of this collection was published in 1935 and received such critical acclaim that it alone virtually assured her place in American literature.

F. O. Matthiessen

F.O. MatthiessenMatthiessen, F.O.Francis Otto Matthiessen
Francis Otto Matthiessen (February 19, 1902 – April 1, 1950) was an educator, scholar and literary critic influential in the fields of American literature and American studies.