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    Originally Posted by bluemagic
    Not quite sure how to define American Literature. If the author is American?
    I think the author should be American.
    For the class "American novel" our school has novels by M.Twain, J.F.Cooper, N. Hawthorne, H.James, S.Crane, W. Faulkner, and E.Hemingway.

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    Two quite opposite suggestions:

    The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

    A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole (coming to the big screen soon I think)

    One is a luminously written beautiful tragedy of social manners and mores and the other is fanstastical screwball black comedy. Both have young men narrators who are outsiders trying to make their way in a hostile world.

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    Others that may appeal to young men (and young women, as well-- though the protagonists tend to be male):

    Invisible Man or The Jungle, though both are probably more properly collegiate level than secondary.

    Jack London's short stories (Call of the Wild for example).

    Steinbeck-- which I am assured is an acquired taste. Of Mice and Men is a classic for a good reason, however.

    Twain-- there is much to choose from there. Huck Finn would be the classic coming-of-age novel.

    Ray Bradbury-- again, loads to choose from. Start with short stories, then move into Martian Chronicles or Something Wicked.

    Lots of times, the "journey/quest" novel format is a metaphor and vehicle for a coming-of-age story.



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    Originally Posted by bluemagic
    My son will be taking American Literature next year. I am looking for further suggestions partially because most of what we have in the house is scifi/fantasy,

    If your ds is a science fiction fan, I'd let him pick a science fiction book by an American author. My 15 yr old ds recommends Robert Heinlein - his adult sci fi might not be what you'd want your ds reading, but he wrote several novels for teens, and my ds enjoyed them (ds is also a huge fan of Lord of the Rings etc).

    polarbear

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    Originally Posted by polarbear
    If your ds is a science fiction fan, I'd let him pick a science fiction book by an American author. My 15 yr old ds recommends Robert Heinlein - his adult sci fi might not be what you'd want your ds reading, but he wrote several novels for teens, and my ds enjoyed them (ds is also a huge fan of Lord of the Rings etc).

    How about Flowers for Algernon (Daniel Keyes)?

    Or Night of Power or Telempath (Spider Robinson)?


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    Originally Posted by polarbear
    If your ds is a science fiction fan, I'd let him pick a science fiction book by an American author. My 15 yr old ds recommends Robert Heinlein - his adult sci fi might not be what you'd want your ds reading, but he wrote several novels for teens, and my ds enjoyed them (ds is also a huge fan of Lord of the Rings etc).

    polarbear
    I don't have a problem with him reading adult fiction. It's more a matter what he is interested in. Although given that this is a school assignment and he will probably have to write a short essay about it when he gets back to school, it probably shouldn't be about sometime too adult say "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" or "Lolita".

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    How about Pearl Buck? First American woman to win a Nobel Prize in Literature. If he hasn't read The Good Earth, that's her most acclaimed novel, but there are lots and lots of good ones.

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    I read a lot of literature when I was in HS, and I could not slog through The Good Earth. Granted, I am an engineer, but I still enjoyed plenty of classic books. Pearl S. Buck International is a terrific organization and I have been to the HQ in Bucks County...just can't get through the book.

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    The Good Earth was one of my favorites in high school.

    Other American Lit I read freshman & junior year in HS that I loved:

    High Tide in Tuscon, Kingsolver
    Joy Luck Club, Tan
    The Chosen, Potok
    Ferenheit 451, Bradbury
    Huck Finn, Twain
    The Red Pony, Steinbeck
    Black Boy, Wright
    Black Like Me, Griffin
    The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne
    The Beet Queen, Erdrich

    Plus several of the above. I left off the stuff I hated (Faulkner, Uncle Tom's Cabin)

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    Originally Posted by Nautigal
    Or Night of Power or Telempath (Spider Robinson)?


    While Spider Robinson is a great choice for a high schooler, I wouldn't recommend Night of Power. At least, preread it yourself. The race relations stuff that is at the core of the book is someone outdated now (unfortunately not enough, but somewhat), and the sexual content is somewhat disturbing (at least to me). I would recommend Stardance or Callahan's Crosstime Saloon instead.

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