Don't lose your head!The Headless Horseman faces off with Ichabod Crane in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, a ghost story of enduring popularity that takes place at the time of the American Revolution. Rip Van Winkle, another traditional favorite from the same historic period, tells the tale of man who fell asleep for twenty years and found his small town in the Catskill Mountains much changed by the time he awakened. Both are included--along with many other tales--in this classic collection by Washington Irving.
"Whatever came, she had resolved never again to belong to another than herself." With its forthright treatment of sex and depression, The Awakening, first published in 1899, was so shocking to turn-of-the-century readers that it was neglected for decades. Rediscovered in the 1960s, this brief, beautiful novel is considered a landmark of early feminism. It is the story of Edna Pontellier, a twenty-eight-year-old wife and mother of two who--with devastating consequences--rejects her conventional married life for a transgressive path of self-discovery. Edna is vacationing with her husband and children on the Louisiana Gulf Coast when she meets and falls in love with the passionate, impulsive Robert Lebrun. Afterward, Edna can no longer find meaning and satisfaction in her comfortable domestic life and moves out, alone. Her tragic quest for personal, creative, and erotic freedom is at the heart of this now-classic novel which captures women's desires with extraordinary frankness, sympathy, and intensity.
The Modern Library Torchbearers series features women who wrote on their own terms, with boldness, creativity, and a spirit of resistance.
'Heart of Darkness' has been considered for most of this century as a literary classic, and also as a powerful indictment of the evils of imperialism. Conrad's narrator encounters at the end of the story a man named Kurtz, dying, insane, and guilty of unspeakable atrocities.
During the pivotal period of America's international emergence, between the Civil War and WWI, the aligned literary movements of Realism and Naturalism not only shaped the national literature of the age, but also left an indelible and far-reaching influence on twentieth-century American and world literature. Seeking to strip narrative from pious sentimentalities, and, according to William Dean Howells, to paint life as it is, and human feelings in their true proportion and relation, Realism is best represented by this volume's masterly pieces by Twain, Henry James, Stephen Crane, Kate Chopin, and Willa Cather among others. The joining of Realist methods with the theories of Marx, Darwin, and Spencer to reveal the larger forces (biological, evolutionary, historical) which move humankind, are exemplified here in the fiction of such writers as Jack London, Frank Norris, and Theodore Dreiser.
Initially serialized in the Pictorial Review in 1920, The Age of Innocence is a stylistic and intimate portrayal of upper class life in New York City during the Gilded Age.
Lawyer and socialite Newland Archer is about to enter a loveless marriage with a well-to-do bride, when her cousin, the exotic Ellen Olenska, enters the picture. Olenska is stuck in a bad marriage with a Polish count, and Archer finds himself in the awkward position of persuading her to save her family's reputation by staying with her husband, even though Archer himself has fallen in love with her.
Combining a romantic tragedy with artful descriptions of aristocratic life in New York City, Edith Wharton's twelfth novel is now available as an elegantly designed clothbound edition with an elastic closure and a new introduction.
A deluxe Harper Perennial Legacy Edition, with an introduction from John Swansburg, Deputy Editor at Slate
One of the best-selling books of all time, Lew Wallace's enduring epic is a tale of revenge, betrayal, honor, compassion and the power of forgiveness, set during the life of Christ.
At the beginning of the first century, Judah Ben-Hur lived as a prince, descended from the royal line of Judea and one of Jerusalem's most prosperous merchant families. But his world falls apart when he is betrayed by his best friend, Messala, who falsely accuses him of an attempt to assassinate the Roman governor.
Convicted without trial, Judah is sentenced to slavery on a Roman galley, while his mother and sister are imprisoned and his family's assets are seized. All seems lost, but just before boarding the ship, Ben-Hur has his first interaction with the Christ, who offers him water and hope. Their lives continue to intersect as Ben-Hur miraculously survives his time as a slave to become a charioteer, confront his betrayer, Messala, in an epic race, fall in love with the beautiful Esther, avenge his family, and become a follower of the Christ.
A true epic, Ben-Hur weaves biblical history and a rich adventure plot into a timeless tale certain to entertain a new generation of readers.
Mark Twain is perhaps the most widely read and enjoyed of all our national writers. This Library of America collection presents his best-known works, together for the first time in one volume.
Tom Sawyer "is simply a hymn," said its author, "put into prose form to give it a worldly air," a book where nostalgia is so strong that it dissolves the tensions and perplexities that assert themselves in the later works. Twain began Huckleberry Finn the same year Tom Sawyer was published, but he was unable to complete it for several more. It was during this period of uncertainty that Twain made a pilgrimage to the scenes of his childhood in Hannibal, Missouri, a trip that led eventually to Life on the Mississippi. The river in Twain's descriptions is a bewitching mixture of beauty and power, seductive calms and treacherous shoals, pleasure and terror, an image of the societies it touches and transports.
This Library of America volume offers what no reader has ever been able to find--an authoritative edition of all the tales and sketches of Nathaniel Hawthorne in a single comprehensive volume. Everything is included from his three books of stories, Twice-told Tales (1837, revised 1851), Mosses from an Old Manse (1846, 1854), and The Snow-Image, and Other Twice-told Tales (1851), and from his two books of stories for children based on classical myths, A Wonder Book for Girls and Boys (1852) and Tanglewood Tales (1853)--along with sixteen stories not found in any of these volumes.The stories are arranged, as they never have been in any other edition, in the order of their periodical publication. Readers of Hawthorne will thereby get a unique sense of how he became one of the most powerful and experimental writers of American fiction. Here are many familiar but always surprising works like "Young Goodman Brown," "Wakefield," "The Birth-mark," "The Artist of the Beautiful," "Rappaccini's Daughter," and "Ethan Brand." And here, too, are many others that deserve to be better known, like:
- "Roger Malvin's Burial," a suspenseful story of guilt and parricide;
- "The May-Pole of Merry Mount," where the chances for human love are perilously suspended between the silken license of the revelers and the iron rectitude of the Puritans;
- the masterly tale "My Kinsman, Major Molineux," full of the pains and terrors of national and familial separations, the severing of the ties of blood and culture that united the colonies to England;
- and the exquisite little story "The Wives of the Dead," about the ambiguities of love and loss, in which, as so often in Hawthorne, the reader at the end is left in a kind of awe at the multiple possibilities of meaning. To read these stories is to understand anew why Hawthorne is a great artist and an astonishingly contemporary one. LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation's literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America's best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.