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Contenders for the Great American Novel - Page 2

Back in 1868, novelist John William DeForest coined the now inescapable term "the great American novel" in the title of an essay in The Nation. Now, don't forget that in 1868, just a few years after the end of the Civil War, "America" was still an uncertain concept for many—though actually, in 2017 we might assert the same thing, which should give you a hint as to why the term "great American novel" is so problematic.
In the nearly 150 years since the essay was written, the argument over the Great American Novel—what it is, what it should be, do we have one, do we need one, why so many white men—has gone on and on.
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41
The Octopus
The Octopus
42
The Virginian
The Virginian
43
The Jungle (Upton Sinclair)
The Jungle (Upton Sinclair)
44
The Awakening
The Awakening
45
My Antonia
My Antonia
46
The Age of Innocence (Edith Wharton)
The Age of Innocence (Edith Wharton)
47
Main Street
Main Street
48
The Big Sleep
The Big Sleep
49
The Day of the Locust
The Day of the Locust
50
Ceremony
Ceremony
51
The Sound and the Fury
The Sound and the Fury
52
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
53
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Philip K. Dick)
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Philip K. Dick)
54
Housekeeping
Housekeeping
55
A Confederacy of Dunces (John Kennedy Toole)
A Confederacy of Dunces (John Kennedy Toole)
56
The Color Purple (Alice Walker)
The Color Purple (Alice Walker)
57
Ironweed (William Kennedy)
Ironweed (William Kennedy)
58
The Joy Luck Club
The Joy Luck Club
59
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (Hunter S. Thompson)
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (Hunter S. Thompson)
60
Everything I Never Told You (Celeste Ng)
Everything I Never Told You (Celeste Ng)
61
Middlesex
Middlesex
62
The Killer Angels
The Killer Angels
63
On the Road (Jack Kerouac)
On the Road (Jack Kerouac)
64
Breakfast of Champions
Breakfast of Champions
65
The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
66
Wise Blood
Wise Blood
67
Song of Solomon
Song of Solomon
68
Kindred (Octavia Butler)
Kindred (Octavia Butler)
69
All the King's Men
All the King's Men
70
The Namesake
The Namesake
71
The Round House
The Round House
72
How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents
How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents
73
The Corrections (Jonathan Franzen)
The Corrections (Jonathan Franzen)
74
The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
75
The Secret History
The Secret History
76
The Last of the Mohicans (James Fenimore Cooper)
The Last of the Mohicans (James Fenimore Cooper)
77
Uncle Tom's Cabin
Uncle Tom's Cabin
78
The Scarlet Letter (Nathaniel Hawthorne)
The Scarlet Letter (Nathaniel Hawthorne)
79
Bone (Fae Myenne Ng)
Bone (Fae Myenne Ng)
80
The Last Illusion
The Last Illusion
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