20th Century American Novel and Short Story
Angle of Repose
Paperback ISBN: 1101872764
An American masterpiece and iconic novel of the West—a deeply moving narrative of one family and the traditions of our national past. Lyman Ward is a retired professor of history, recently confined to a wheelchair by a crippling bone disease and dependant on others for his every need. Amid the chaos of 1970s counterculture he retreats to his ancestral home of Grass Valley, California, to write the biography of his grandmother: an elegant and headstrong artist and pioneer who, together with her engineer husband, made her own journey through the hardscrabble West nearly a hundred years before. In discovering her story he excavates his own, probing the shadows of his experience and the America that has come of age around him.
Three Famous Short Novels
Spotted Horses / Old Man / The Bear
Paperback ISBN: 0307946754
“You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.” —William Faulkner These short works offer three different approaches to Faulkner, each representative of his work as a whole. Spotted Horses is a hilarious account of a horse auction, and pits the “cold practicality” of women against the boyish folly of men. Old Man is something of an adventure story. When a flood ravages the countryside of the lower Mississippi, a convict finds himself adrift with a pregnant woman. And The Bear, perhaps his best known shorter work, is the story of a boy’s coming to terms wit the adult world. By learning how to hunt, the boy is taught the real meaning of pride, humility, and courage.
The Great Gatsby
Paperback ISBN: 1843441306
Star-crossed love, neverending parties, tragic death, and shit loadsa money! Gatsby wants to show off his newfound wealth to his old flame Daisy, and the best way to do that is, of course, to throw a series of fabulous parties. Despite Gatsby' dubious friends—one of whom sports a disturbing pair of human teeth cufflinks—his party lifestyle is more exciting than a double bill of Pimp My Ride and My Super Sweet Sixteen. With jealousy raging, exquisite cocktails, and some spectacular deaths, The Great Gatsby is the quintessential Jazz Age novel. Just watch out for Doctor T. J. Eckleburg and his giant specs.
The House of Mirth
Paperback ISBN: 0307949524
Set among the glittering salons of Gilded Age New York, Edith Wharton's most popular novel is a moving indictment of a society whose soul-crushing limitations destroy a woman too spirited to be contained by them. The beautiful, much-desired Lily Bart has been raised to be one of the perfect wives of the wealthy upper class, but her drive and her spark of independent character prevent her from conforming sucessfully. Her desire for a comfortable life means that she will not marry for love without money, but her resistance to the rules of the social elite endangers her many marriage proposals and leads to a dramatic downward spiral into debt and dishonor. One of Edith Wharton's most bracing and nuanced portraits of the life of women in a hostile, highly ordered world, The House of Mirth unfolds with the force of classical tragedy.
Paperback ISBN: 1451626657
A new publication of Joseph Heller's classic WWII black comedy includes a new introduction by Christopher Buckley, bonus material in the back matter and variant covers, in a novel that follows American bomber pilot Yossarian on his harrowing quest for the final mission that will free him from his military obligation. Simultaneous. 100,000 first printing (paperback).
Alfred and Guinevere
Paperback ISBN: 0940322498
One of the finest American poets of the second half of the twentieth century, James Schuyler was at the same time a remarkable novelist. Alfred and Guinevere are two children who have been sent by their parents to spend the summer at their grandmother's house in the country. There they puzzle over their parents' absence and their relatives' habits, play games and pranks, make friends and fall out with them, spat and make up. Schuyler has a pitch-perfect ear for the children's voices, and the story, told entirely through snatches of dialogue and passages from Guinevere's diary, is a tour de force of comic and poetic invention. The reader discovers that beneath the book's apparently guileless surface lies a very sophisticated awareness of the complicated ways in which words work to define the often perilous boundaries between fantasy and reality, innocence and knowledge.
The Broom of the System
Paperback ISBN: 0143129449
Published when Wallace was just twenty-four years old, The Broom of the System stunned critics and marked the emergence of an extraordinary new talent. At the center of this outlandishly funny, fiercely intelligent novel is the bewitching heroine, Lenore Stonecipher Beadsman. The year is 1990 and the place is a slightly altered Cleveland, Ohio. Lenore’s great-grandmother has disappeared with twenty-five other inmates of the Shaker Heights Nursing Home. Her beau, and boss, Rick Vigorous, is insanely jealous, and her cockatiel, Vlad the Impaler, has suddenly started spouting a mixture of psycho-babble, Auden, and the King James Bible. Ingenious and entertaining, this debut from one of the most innovative writers of his generation brilliantly explores the paradoxes of language, storytelling, and reality.