19th Century American Novel and Short Story
Or, Sketches from the Life of a Free Black, In a Two-Story White House, North; Showing That Slavery's Shadows Fall Even There
Paperback ISBN: 0307477452
With a New Introduction and Notes by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Richard J. Ellis A fascinating fusion of two literary models of the nineteenth century, the sentimental novel and the slave narrative, Our Nig, apart from its historical significance, is a deeply ironic and highly readable work, tracing the trials and tribulations of Frado, a mulatto girl abandoned by her white mother after the death of the child's black father, who grows up as an indentured servant to a white family in nineteenth-century Massachusetts. This edition of Our Nig includes a new Introduction by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Richard J. Ellis and four appendices: "Harriet Wilson's Career as a Spiritualist"; "Hattie E. Wilson in the Banner of Light and Spiritual Scientist" a collection of all her extant contributions to these newspapers; "Documents from Harriet Wilson's Life in Boston," a compilation of primary source material relating to Wilson's identity; and "A Note on the Penguin Edition," a critical essay on the Penguin edition of Our Nig. There is also a new chronology of the life of Harriet Wilson by Richard J. Ellis, as well as an up-to-date Select Bibliography of current scholarship regarding Harriet Wilson. This edition gives the fullest account to date of the life of Harriet Wilson, filling out many critical points regarding her life after writing Our Nig, in particular when she became a "medium" who communicated with the dead and as an educator in the "Spiritualist" movement after the Civil War.
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.
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.
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.
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
Herman Melville Redburn His 1st Voyage
White-Jacket or the World in a Man of War : Moby Dick or the Whale
Hardcover ISBN: 0940450097
Three novels concern a young man's adventures at sea, the harsh conditions of life on a warship, and Captain Ahab's hunt for a huge whale