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The Modern American Novel: An Introduction

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This lecture surveys the historical and cultural contexts of six important modern American novels: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (1925); William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying (1930); Jack Kerouac’s On the Road (1957); Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony (1977); Toni Morrison’s Beloved (1987) and Philip Roth’s American Pastoral (1997). We will think about whether there is anything distinctive, or exceptional, about American literature as a whole.

This lecture is the first of Roynon’s three-lecture American Literature series. It also includes a downloadable handout.