19th Century American Novel and Short Story
Written By Himself
Paperback ISBN: 1590172299
Originally published in 1836. Sheppard Lee, Written By Himself is a work of dark satire from the early years of the American Republic. Published as an autobiography and praised by Edgar Allan Poe, this is the story of a young idler who goes in search of buried treasure and finds instead the power to transfer his soul into other men's bodies. What follows is one increasingly practiced body snatcher's picaresque journey through early American pursuits of happiness, as each new form Sheppard Lee assumes disappoints him anew while making him want more and more. When Lee's metempsychosis draws him into the marriage market, the money market, and the slave market, Bird's fable of American upward mobility takes a more sinister turn. Lee learns that everything in America, even virtue and vice, are interchangeable; everything is an object and has its price. Looking forward to Melville's The Confidence-Man and beyond that to William Burroughs’s Naked Lunch, this strange and compelling story is a penetrating critique of American life and values as well as a crucial addition to the canon of American literature.
Paperback ISBN: 198489885x
Little Women has long been one of the most enduringly beloved classics of children's literature, as popular with adults as it is with young readers. Generations have been entranced by the adventures of the four March sisters, each with their distinct and realistic virtues and flaws: tomboyish, ambitious Jo; frail and sweet Beth; beautiful, confident Meg; and artistic, willful Amy. With their patient mother, Marmee, they survive the hardships of the Civil War and the dramas and tragedies of family life. First published in 1868, and based on Louisa May Alcott's own unusual family, the novel brought to life some of American literature's most vibrant female characters.
The Age of Innocence
Paperback ISBN: 1631065041
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.
Paperback ISBN: 1984854364
A new edition of Kate Chopin’s controversial masterpiece, an essential novel in the canon of early feminism—with an introduction by Carmen Maria Machado, award-winning author of Her Body and Other Parties. “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.
Ernest Hemingway on Writing
Paperback ISBN: 0684854295
Drawing from works of fiction, letters, interviews, and articles by Hemingway, a unique collection of the great writer's insights and techniques for writing offers thoughtful advice on discipline, honesty, and craft for any aspiring writer. Reprint. 25,000 first printing.
Edgar A. Poe
Mournful and Never-Ending Remembrance
Paperback ISBN: 0060923318
A look at the life and work of Edgar Allan Poe traces his life from his childhood as an adopted son, to his experiences in the U.S. Army, to his career as a journalist, editor, and writer, and discusses his influence on literature
A Tale of the Christ
Paperback ISBN: 0062421239
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.