American Literature

Showing 1–24 of 77 results

  • The Piazza Tales

    Herman Melville’s The Piazza Tales is the only collection of short fiction that he published in his lifetime, and it includes his two most famous…

  • Black in America

    Black in America samples the breadth of non-fiction writing on African American experiences in the United States. The emphasis is on twenty-first-century authors such as…

  • Edgar Huntly

    Edgar Huntly is a compelling tale of sleepwalking, murder, and frontier violence set in rural Pennsylvania in the 1780s. His memory and wits shaken by…

  • Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave

    Published in the bicentenary year of Frederick Douglass’s birth and in a Black Lives Matter era, this edition of Narrative of the Life of Frederick…

  • Iola Leroy

    Frances Harper’s fourth novel follows the life of the beautiful, light-skinned Iola Leroy to tell the story of black families in slavery, during the Civil…

  • Selected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Essayist, lecturer, poet, and America’s first “public intellectual,” Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) is the central figure in nineteenth-century American letters and the leader (albeit reluctantly)…

  • A Marriage Below Zero

    A Marriage Below Zero is the first novel in English to explicitly explore the subject of male homosexuality. Written by a British émigré to America,…

  • Tender Buttons

    The first publisher of Tender Buttons described the book’s effect on readers as “something like terror, there are no known precedents to cling to.” Written…

  • The Melting-Pot

    Israel Zangwill, an Anglo-Jewish author and son of immigrants, wrote The Melting-Pot to demonstrate how immigrants could become good American citizens, hoping to forestall the…

  • Ida May

    The sentimental antislavery novel Ida May appeared so like its predecessor in the genre, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, that for the month of November 1854, reviewers…

  • Ragged Dick and Risen from the Ranks

    In Ragged Dick, Horatio Alger’s most successful book, Alger codified the basic formula he would follow in nearly a hundred subsequent novels for boys: a…

  • Civil Disobedience

    In 1848, Henry David Thoreau twice delivered lectures in Concord, Massachusetts, on “the relationship of the individual to the state.” The essay now known as…

  • Billy Budd

    “Is it the intention of law-makers that good men shall be hung ever?” asked Henry David Thoreau. The question has never been academic, but in…

  • A Plea for Emigration; or Notes of Canada West

    Mary Ann Shadd’s pamphlet A Plea for Emigration; or Notes of Canada West is, as the title promises, a settler guide designed to inform prospective…

  • Pudd’nhead Wilson and Those Extraordinary Twins

    The two narratives published together in The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson and the Comedy Those Extraordinary Twins are overflowing with spectacular events. Twain shows us…

  • Clotel

    As nearly all of its reviewers pointed out, Clotel was an audience-minded performance, an effort to capitalize on the post—Uncle Tom’s Cabin “mania” for abolitionist…

  • Kelroy

    Kelroy, a nearly-forgotten 1812 novel by Rebecca Rush, combines the refinement of the novel of manners with the Gothic novel’s hidden evil to tell the…

  • The Garies and Their Friends

    Unjustly overlooked in its own time, Frank J. Webb’s novel of pre-Civil War Philadelphia weaves together action, humor, and social commentary. The Garies and Their…

  • Poems: A Concise Anthology

    Presenting a broad range of fully annotated selections from the long history of poetry in English, this anthology provides a rich and extensive resource for…

  • Vandover and the Brute

    Written circa 1894-95 but published posthumously in 1914, Frank Norris’s Vandover and the Brute presents an unflinching portrait of unconventional sexuality, moral dissolution, and physical…

  • The Western Captive and Other Indian Stories

    This edition recovers Elizabeth Oakes Smith’s successful 1842 novel The Western Captive; or, The Times of Tecumseh and includes many of Oakes Smith’s other writings…

  • The Blithedale Romance

    Inspired by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s own experience as a member of the famous Brook Farm Community, which the author describes in his preface as the “most…

  • Domestic Manners of the Americans

    Frances Trollope’s Domestic Manners of the Americans, complemented by Auguste Hervieu’s satiric illustrations, took the transatlantic world by storm in 1832. An unusual combination of…

  • The Red Badge of Courage

    The story of a young soldier, Henry Fleming, who flees a Civil War battle, The Red Badge of Courage has been celebrated for its depiction…