The Best American Novels
American Independence Day is all about celebrating all things USA! To mark the occasion, we’ve made a list of our favourite seminal USA novels, from past and present:
Beloved - Tony Morrison
Beloved remains Tony Morrison’s most celebrated novel: a look at the horrors and repercussions of slavery in 1800s America. Morrison’s novel is unflinching in revealing the terrors, both physical and psychological, that marked this time of US history. It also focuses closely on the particular pain of being a black woman at this time, framing this period through two lenses which are often avoided. A vitally important novel.
It would be impossible to think of classic American literature without considering Fitzgerald’s most famous novel. A tale of love, excess, identity and chasing the American dream. It remains cherished and relevant today, a warning to those who try to chase unsubstantial dreams. Shop here!
Louisa May Alcott’s tale of the four March sisters (and its three following sequels) are entrenched in nostalgic female-led culture. Kept alive by dozens of adaptations, this story of growing up and the importance of family reminds women worldwide of the simple, adventure-filled days of childhood. An unforgettable American tale. Shop here!
A Little Life - Hanya Yanagihara
One of the modern titles on this list, Yanagihara’s debut is already regarded by many as a modern American classic, despite only being published in 2015. It follows four friends on their graduation from a small Massachusetts college, and their move to New York to find their fortunes and the lives that await them there. Traumatic, moving and ultimately an ode to the power of deep friendship - this is a novel that forces you to feel.
All the Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerr
The final novel in our list is also a modern tale, which spent months in bestseller lists. It is a war novel based in Nazi-occupied France, intertwining the stories of a blind French girl and a German boy whose lives eventually collide. A look at the horror and devastation of World War 2, but also a hope-inspiring reminder that against all odds, humans will try to be good to one another.