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Seattle Picks: American Classics

A Death in the Family
A Death in the Family By Agee, James (Book - 2008 ) FIC AGEE 2008 Available in some locations Holds: 2 on 11 copies

Annotation:The sudden death of Jay Follett in an auto accident deeply affects his family in this moving novel set in early 20th-century Tennessee.

The Adventures of Augie March
The Adventures of Augie March By Bellow, Saul (Book - 2006 ) FIC BELLOW 2006 Available in some locations Holds: 1 on 8 copies

Annotation:Growing up Jewish in a rough part of Depression-era Chicago can be a fearsome plight, but as Augie drifts from one adventure to another, he just might make it.

My Antonia
My Antonia By Cather, Willa (Book - 1996 ) FIC CATHER 1996 Available in some locations Holds: 1 on 9 copies

Annotation:Antonia, the spirited daughter of a Bohemian immigrant family, is determined to tame the Nebraska farmland in this poignant tale set in the late 19th century.

Invisible Man
Invisible Man By Ellison, Ralph (Book - 1994 ) FIC ELLISON Available in some locations Holds: 3 on 12 copies

Annotation:During the 1950s a young nameless black man finds himself rendered invisible as he moves through levels of American intolerance.

Light in August
Light in August The Corrected Text By Faulkner, William (Book - 1990 ) FIC FAULKNE Available in some locations Holds: 1 on 21 copies

Annotation:This is the intense and lyrical story of Lena Grove, a force of nature looking for the man who got her with child, and Joe Christmas, a lost man seeking the dreaded secret of his own racial identity.

Catch-22
Catch-22 By Heller, Joseph (Book - 2011 ) FIC HELLER 2011 Available in some locations Holds: 7 on 24 copies

Annotation:Airmen on a World War II base near Italy attempt to maintain their sanity in an insane, no-win situation in this satirical, anti-war novel.

The Sun Also Rises
The Sun Also Rises By Hemingway, Ernest (Book - 2006 ) FIC HEMINGW 2006 All copies in use Availability details Holds: 4 on 25 copies

Annotation:Sultry temptress Lady Brett Ashley, her drunken fiancé and smitten war veteran Jake Barnes are among a group of expatriates who leave Paris to see the bullfights of Pamplona, Spain, in the 1920s.

Their Eyes Were Watching God
Their Eyes Were Watching God By Hurston, Zora Neale (Book - 2006 ) FIC HURSTON 2006 Available in some locations Holds: 4 on 25 copies

Annotation:Janie Crawford, a sassy and self-confident African- American woman of the 1930s, lives life on her own terms and goes through three marriages, one murder trial and more joy and pain than many who judge her.

On the Road
On the Road By Kerouac, Jack (Book - 1976 ) FIC KEROUAC Available in some locations Holds: 6 on 26 copies

Annotation:In this groundbreaking novel, a group of Ivy League-educated young men break off from the mainstream, hitchhiking across 1950s America in a mad bohemian adventure of irreverent revelry.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest By Kesey, Ken (Book - 2003 ) FIC KESEY 2003 All copies in use Availability details Holds: 1 on 9 copies

Annotation:Chief Broom, a deaf-mute Native American kept in an Oregon mental hospital, tells the story of Randle McMurphy's battle of wills with the sadistic Nurse Ratched, a struggle between two varieties of madness.

Moby-Dick, Or, The Whale
Moby-Dick, Or, The Whale By Melville, Herman (Book - 2003 ) FIC MELVILL 2003 All copies in use Availability details Holds: 10 on 20 copies

Annotation:Fanatic Captain Ahab forces the whaling vessel Pequod and its crew to join his obsessive and vengeful search for the elusive Moby Dick, a ghastly leviathan that stole his leg and haunts his dreams.

House Made of Dawn
House Made of Dawn By Momaday, N. Scott (Book - 2010 ) FIC MOMADAY 2010 Available in some locations

Annotation:This Pulitzer Prize winner traces the plight of modern Native Americans through the story of a young soldier returning home after World War II, and his difficulty re-absorbing his cultural heritage on the reservation.

No-no Boy
No-no Boy By Okada, John (Book - 1981 ) FIC OKADA Available in some locations Holds: 2 on 7 copies

Annotation:Ichiro Yamada refuses to fight for America in World War II and is incarcerated both in an internment camp and in prison during the war, returning home to Seattle disgraced and confused about his loyalties.

The Bell Jar
The Bell Jar By Plath, Sylvia (Book - 2005 ) FIC PLATH 2005 All copies in use Availability details Holds: 16 on 21 copies

Annotation:This semi-autobiographical novel of famous poet Sylvia Plath follows the downward spiral of Esther Greenwood’s mental illness, her awkwardly amusing experiences working in New York, and her therapy and rehabilitation.

My Name Is Asher Lev
My Name Is Asher Lev By Potok, Chaim (Book - 2003 ) FIC POTOK 2003 All copies in use Availability details

Annotation:A gifted artist, even as a child, Asher lands in hot water with his Hasidic Brooklyn community when instead of focusing on his Jewish studies, he copies famous nude studies and art works reflecting Christianity.

The Catcher in the Rye
The Catcher in the Rye By Salinger, J. D. (Book - 1991 ) YA SALINGE Available in some locations Holds: 6 on 57 copies

Annotation:Spend a few days playing hooky in the city with Holden Caulfield, a wry and skeptical 16-year-old who can't quite get used to the crummy fact that growing up means becoming a complete and total phony.

The Grapes of Wrath
The Grapes of Wrath By Steinbeck, John (Book - 2006 ) FIC STEINBE 2006 Available in some locations

Annotation:The Joads, Oklahoma tenant farmers whose farm has blown away, struggle westward towards the promised land of California on a road freighted with human misery and the imperishable will to survive.

Slaughterhouse-five, Or, The Children's Crusade
Slaughterhouse-five, Or, The Children's Crusade A Duty-dance With Death By Vonnegut, Kurt (Book - 2009 ) FIC VONNEGU 2009 All copies in use Availability details Holds: 7 on 15 copies

Annotation:While on exhibit on the planet of Tralfamadore, Billy Pilgrim, American soldier and witness to the bombing of Dresden, revisits his memories of the past and the horrors of war.

The Optimist's Daughter
The Optimist's Daughter By Welty, Eudora (Book - 1990 ) FIC WELTY 1990 Available in some locations Holds: 1 on 12 copies

Annotation:When her father dies, Laurel returns to her childhood home and begins an introspective pilgrimage to the source of her identity and grace.

The Age of Innocence
The Age of Innocence By Wharton, Edith (Book - 1996 ) FIC WHARTON 1996 Available in some locations Holds: 2 on 2 copies

Annotation:In this sparkling social novel set in the stiff upper crust of 19th-century New York, Newland Archer is distracted from his proper fiancée May by her mysterious and vivacious cousin, the Countess Olenska.

Look Homeward, Angel
Look Homeward, Angel A Story of the Buried Life By Wolfe, Thomas (Book - 2006 ) FIC WOLFE 2006 Available in some locations

Annotation:Bright, young Eugene Gant is saddled with an alcoholic father and an overbearing mother, though he eventually makes a way for himself, despite the teasing of his schoolmates.

Native Son
Native Son By Wright, Richard (Book - 2005 ) FIC WRIGHT 2005 Available in some locations Holds: 2 on 25 copies

Annotation:Dehumanized by white society, Bigger Thomas, a young black man in 1940s Chicago, accidentally kills the daughter of his white employer and veers into a rebellious, self-destructive spiral.

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A selection of classic fiction by American authors.


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