Invitation of A Study of U.S.AMulti-racial Society and Rich Culinary CultureGreat Nature and Outdoor ActivitiesSports SupremacyFilms, TVs and LiberalismArts of Music and Stage Performance

Politics, US Constitution, and DemocracyAmerican Media and Opinion MakersEducation and Science as ReligionEconomic Giant and IndustriesUS Cities and Mass-transportationsMighty Military and Technological Innovation

Young Entrepreneurs and Silicon ValleyFashion Industry and Gay PowerGeniuses, Inventors, and SocietyUS Literature and Americans in LiteratureLaw-governed States、Law-enforcers, and CrimesHomeless, Disabilities and Welfare system






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Chapter Fifteen: US Literature and Americans in Literature




American Nobel Laureates in Literature

1930 – Sinclair Lewis (1885-1951) American writer. Received the 1930 Nobel Prize for Literature “for his vigorous and graphic art of description and his ability to create, with wit and humor, new types of characters.”

1936 – Eugene Gladstone O’Neill (1888-1953) American writer. Eugene O’Neill won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1936, and Pulitzer Prizes for four of his plays: Beyond the Horizon (1920); Anna Christie (1922); Strange Interlude (1928); and Long Day’s Journey Into Night (1957). He won the Nobel Prize in Literature “for the power, honesty and deep-felt emotions of his dramatic works, which embody an original concept of tragedy.”

1938 – Pearl Buck (1892-1973) Pearl Buck, seudonym for Pearl Walsh née Sydenstricker. American writer. Received the 1938 Nobel Prize in Literature “for her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and for her biographical masterpieces.”resented with a fearless love of truth and keen psychological insight.”

1948 – Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888-1965) British/American writer. T.S. Eliot received the 1948 Nobel Prize in Literature “for his outstanding, pioneer contribution to present-day poetry.”

1949 – William Faulkner (1897-1962) American writer. Received the 1949 Nobel in Literature “for his powerful and artistically unique contribution to the modern American novel.”

1954 – Ernest Miller Hemingway (1899-1961) American writer. Brevity was his specialty. Received the 1954 Nobel in Literature “for his mastery of the art of narrative, most recently demonstrated in The Old Man and the Sea, and for the influence that he has exerted on contemporary style.”

1962 – John Steinbeck (1902-1968) American writer. Received the 1962 Nobel Prize in Literature “for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humor and keen social perception.”

1976 – Saul Bellow (1915-2005) American writer. Received the 1976 Nobel Prize for Literature “for the human understanding and subtle analysis of contemporary culture that are combined in his work.”

1978 – Isaac Bashevis Singer (1904-1991) Polish/American writer. Received the 1978 Nobel Prize for Literature “for his impassioned narrative art which, with roots in a Polish-Jewish cultural tradition, brings universal human conditions to life.”

1980 – Czeslaw Milosz (1911-2004) Polish/American writer. Received the 1980 Nobel Prize for Literature for voicing “man’s exposed condition in a world of severe conflicts.”

1987 – Joseph Brodsky (1940-1996) Russian/American writer. Received the 1987 Nobel Prize for Literature “for an all-embracing authorship, imbued with clarity of thought and poetic intensity.”

1992 – Derek Walcott (1930- ) Saint Lucian/American writer. Derek Walcott received the 1992 Nobel Prize for Literature “for a poetic oeuvre of great luminosity, sustained by a historical vision, the outcome of a multicultural commitment.”

1993 – Toni Morrison (1931- ) American writer. Received the 1993 Nobel Prize for Literature for “novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import,” giving “life to an essential aspect of American reality.”
20 Iconic American Writers
By Stuart Englert on January 19, 2011

While the United States has produced thousands of talented writers, a few dozen have penned the novels, poems and stories that comprise much of the nation’s literary heritage. Here’s a summary of 20 of America’s most celebrated and influential writers.

Willa Cather (1873-1947)
Born in Virginia’s Back Creek Valley in 1873, Cather was 9 years old when her family moved to Red Cloud, Neb., where she drew inspiration for some of her most famous works—O Pioneers!, 1913; and My √Åntonia, 1918—about life on the American frontier.

James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851)
Cooper, who grew up in Cooperstown, N.Y., is best known for his five-book Leatherstocking series, including The Last of the Mohicans, first published in 1826. In his frontier tales, Cooper introduces the first American hero, Natty Bumppo, a white child raised by Delaware Indians who matures into an adventurous, honorable and fearless woodsman.

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)
One of the nation’s most prolific poets, Dickinson wrote nearly 1,800 poems while leading a reclusive life at her family’s home in Amherst, Mass. Few of Dickinson’s poems about art, gardens, joy, love, death and grief were published during her lifetime, and most of her work was discovered in her bedroom after her death.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
An ordained minister, Boston-born Emerson was a philosopher, essayist and poet whose insightful prose explored the mind of man and his relationship with nature. Emerson’s uniquely American vision and writing style is illustrated in the 1836 essay Nature and the 1841 essay Self-Reliance.

William Faulkner (1897-1962)
The Nobel Prize-winning novelist and short story writer depicted the people, history and settings of his native Mississippi in most of his works, including the literary classics The Sound and the Fury, 1929; Absalom, Absalom!, 1936; Go Down, Moses, 1942; and The Reivers, 1962.

F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940)
A native of St. Paul, Minn., Fitzgerald wrote novels and short stories about the optimism, aspirations and excesses of the Jazz Age, including This Side of Paradise, 1920; The Beautiful and the Damned, 1922; and The Great Gatsby, his 1925 masterpiece. While sales of its initial printing were disappointing, The Great Gatsby is considered among the greatest novels of the 20th century.

Robert Frost (1874-1963)
Born in San Francisco, the four-time Pulitzer Prize winner wrote much of his poetry about rural New England. Some of his best-known poems—”After Apple-Picking,” “Mending Wall,” “Birches,” “The Road Not Taken” and “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”—were inspired by his life and observations in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont.
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Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)
Known for his stories about sin, guilt and witchcraft in Puritan New England, the Salem, Mass.-born Hawthorne is revered for his 1837 short story collection, Twice-Told Tales; his 1850 masterpiece The Scarlet Letter; and the 1851 classic The House of the Seven Gables.
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Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961)
Considered among the best writers of his generation, the Oak Park, Ill., native is renowned for his action-packed stories about boxing, bullfighting, big-game hunting, fishing, war and human relationships, including the novels The Sun Also Rises, 
1926; A Farewell to Arms, 1929; For Whom the Bell Tolls, 1940; and The 
Old Man and the Sea, 1952.

Washington Irving (1783-1859)
One of the earliest American fiction writers, New York City-born Irving wrote the famous and timeless tales Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, first published in 1819 and 1820, respectively.

Harper Lee (1926- )
To Kill a Mockingbird is her only published novel, winning the Monroeville, Ala., native the 1961 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for the best-seller about 1930s race relations in the South.

Jack London (1876-1916)
Drawing on his experiences as a sailor, gold prospector and adventurer, San Francisco-born London wrote a profusion of stirring stories, including tales about canines in the frozen North and voyages on the high seas in his best-selling novels: The Call of the Wild, 1903; The Sea-Wolf, 1904; and White Fang, 1906.

Herman Melville (1819-1891)
New York City-born Melville is best remembered for his 1851 masterpiece Moby-Dick, an epic novel about a ferocious whale that destroys a whaling ship, its vengeful captain and crew.
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Margaret Mitchell (1900-1949)
Atlanta-born Mitchell authored Gone with the Wind, the best-selling romantic novel set in the Civil War South. Published in 1936, the novel won the 1937 Pulitzer Prize and since has sold more than 30 million copies.

Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)
A literary critic in his time, Boston-born Poe may have been the nation’s first published horror, mystery and science fiction writer. Poe wrote eerie, grim and cryptic tales exemplified in his 1839 short story “The Fall of the House of Usher,” 1843 short story “The Tell-Tale Heart” and 1845 poem “The Raven.”
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J.D. Salinger (1919-2010)
Salinger’s 1951 The Catcher in the Rye is one of the best-selling American novels of all time, with more than 65 million copies sold. Though the only full-length novel by the New York City-born writer, the once scandalous story about teenage angst, rebellion and lust remains a standard in American literature curriculum.

John Steinbeck (1902-1968)
A native of Salinas, Calif., the Nobel Prize- and Pulitzer Prize-winning author captured the social conscience of the nation with his captivating stories about California’s various ethnic and immigrant groups, migrant workers and displaced sharecroppers. Among his best works are Of Mice and Men, 1937; The Grapes of Wrath, 1939; and East of Eden, 1952.
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Henry David Thoreau(1817-1862)
An author, philosopher and naturalist, the Concord, Mass., native is best known for his writings about independence, spiritual discovery and self-reliance depicted in his 1849 essay “Civil Disobedience” and 1854 book, Walden, written about a two-year retreat to the woods near Walden Pond.
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Mark Twain (1835-1910)
Born Samuel Clemens in Florida, Mo., Twain was inspired to write his classic novels The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, 1876, and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, 1884, based on his childhood experiences in Hannibal, Mo., and his job as a Mississippi River steamboat pilot. Known for his witty and satirical prose, and the colloquial dialogue of his characters, Twain has been dubbed the Father of American Literature.
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Walt Whitman (1819-1892)
One of America’s greatest poets, the West Hills, N.Y.-born Whitman is best known for Leaves of Grass, his Emerson-inspired 1855 poetry collection, and his 1865 poem “O Captain! My Captain!” about the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.