American Literature

American Literature, the Colonial Period, 1620s–1776.

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1791The Autobiography of Benjamin FranklinBenjamin Franklin.

1812, With the War of 1812 and an increasing desire to produce uniquely American literature and culture, a number of key new literary figures emerged, perhaps most prominently Washington Irving and Edgar Allan Poe.

1820The Legend of the Sleepy Hollow, Washington Irving.

1826The Last of the Mohicans: A Narrative of 1757James Fenimore Cooper.
1836, In 1836, Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882) started a movement known as TranscendentalismHenry David Thoreau (1817–1862) wrote Walden, which urges resistance to the dictates of organized society. The political conflict surrounding abolitionism inspired the writings of William Lloyd Garrison and Harriet Beecher Stowe in her world-famous Uncle Tom’s Cabin. These efforts were supported by the continuation of the slave narrative autobiography, of which the best known example from this period was Frederick Douglass‘s Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave.

1845Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas, Frederick Douglas.
1850The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne.
1851Moby Dick, Herman Melville.
1852Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe.
1855Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman.
1855My Bondage and My Freedom, Frederick Douglas.

1855The Song of Hiawatha, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

1860Paul Revere’s RideHenry Wadsworth Longfellow.

1865Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates, Mary Mapes Dodge.
1881The Portrait of a Lady, Henry James.
1884Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain.

1888The Young Acrobat, Horatio Alger, Jr.
1893Maggie: A Girl of the StreetsStephen Crane.
1895The Red Badge of Courage, Stephen Crane.
1898The Turn of the Screw, Henry James.
1900Sister CarrieTheodore Dreiser.
1902The Wings of the Dove, Henry James.
1903The Ambassadors, Henry James.
1903The People of the Abyss, Jack London.
1903Call of the WildJack London.
1904The Golden Bowl, Henry James.
1905The House of Mirth, Edith Warton.
1906White Fang, Jack London.
1908, “To Build a Fire,” Jack London.
1908The Iron Heel, Jack London.
1909Three LivesGertrude Stein.
1911Ethan Frome, Edith Warton.
1913O Pioneers!Willa Cather.
1918,  My Antonia, Willa Cather.
1920This Side of ParadiseF. Scott Fitzgerald.
1920The Age of Innocence, Edith Warton.
1922The Beautiful and the Damned, F. Scott Fitzgerald.
1924Billy Budd, Herman Melville, published postumously in 1924.
1924The Making of Americans, Gertrude Stein.
1925An American Tragedy, Theodore Dreiser.
1925The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald.
1927The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Thornton Wilder.
1929A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway.

1931Brave New World, Aldous Huxley.
1933,  Farmer Boy, Laura Ingalls Wilder.
1934Tender Is the Night, F. Scott Fitzgerald.
1935Lucy Gayheart, Willa Cather.
1944The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams.
1947A Streetcar Named Desire, Tennessee Williams.

1948, “The Lottery,” Shirley Jackson.

1948The Naked and the Dead, Norman Mailer.
1949Shane, Jack Schaefer.
1949Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller.
1951The Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger.
1952The Old Man and the SeaErnest Hemingway.
1953The Crucible, Arthur Miller.

1953The Adventures of Augie MarchSaul Bellow. [He was Canadian]

1953Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury.

1957On the Road, Jack Kerouac.
1960To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee.

1962One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s NestKen Kesey.

1964I Never Promised You a Rose GardenHannah Green.

1964Herzog, Saul Bellow.

1965An American Dream, Norman Mailer.

1979The Executioner’s SongNorman Mailer.

1991Harlot’s Ghost, Norman Mailer.

1996The Notebook, Nicholas Sparks.

2002The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold.

2005No Country for Old MenCormac McCarthy.