Sunday, June 11, 2006

Great American Books, Take Two

Okay, so after many helpful suggestions, here is my almost final, almost official list of Great American Books for the fall semester:

Hawthorne: The Scarlet Letter
Melville: Moby Dick
West: The Day of the Locust
Heller: Catch-22
Malamud: The Natural
Faulkner: The Sound and the Fury
Morrison: Beloved
Doctorow: Ragtime
Hijuelos: Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love
Roth: American Pastoral

Still thinking about:
Kesey: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Roth (Henry): Call It Sleep

I just realized, however, that there is only one female author on this list. Is that a problem? It might very well be. I'm a pathetic excuse for a feminist.


Britton said...


The lack of women is a concern. I mean it is not a party without some wonderful, intelligent writerly ladies. You've got loads for to choose from. I like Sarah Orme Jewett alot, her COUNTRY OF THE POINTED FIRS, is delightful short novel of prose perfection. You can't forget about fine folks like Kate Chopin or Willia Cather either. You can get run out of town for talking ill of Cather in Lincoln, Nebraska. Zora Neale Hurston's THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD is one of the great American novels. I would definitely consider working in one of the fine women writers that work around the turn of the century, if not two.


Casey said...

Britton's right about the Jewett novel, especially if you keep _The Scarlet Letter_, which was one of Jewett's favorite novels... But you'll never get me to vote against _Moby-Dick_.

My students loved Cather's _Death Comes for the Archbishop_.

It's an interesting dilemma: with only 8 books, can we really take the time to worry about quotas and equal representation? I think the general feeling is, yep.