This challenge lists specific books discussed in an online article "American Prose Since 1945: Realism and Experimentation." The general areas of discussion are as below. I think list challengers who enjoy tales of Western USA will particularly enjoy 'The new regionalism' books.
01-07: The realist legacy and the late 1940s
08-26: The affluent but alienated 1950s
27-47: The turbulent but creative 1960s
48-69: The 1970s and 1980s: New directions
70-120: The new regionalism
Due to broken links in the source article etc, I have also included appropriate works of several authors including John Cheever, John Updike, Martin Luther King, Jr., John Edgar Wideman, Toni Morrison & Shelby Foote.