Whether it’s via their tone, topic, or tenor, certain works just say “America.” Here are three such titles, suggested by David Bruce Smith, founder of the Grateful American™ Foundation, in partnership with the Washington Independent Review of Books.
- Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. This story of the ragamuffin Huck’s journey down the Mississippi River offers an often coarse, scathing commentary on racism and 19th-century societal norms.
- A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. Childhood in circa-1912, working-class Williamsburg is captured through the eyes of Francie Nolan, a young girl whose eccentric New York family is, by turns, scandalous, loving, erratic, and jubilant.
- The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway. An elderly Cuban fisherman battles a massive marlin — and, ultimately, himself — in this classic man-versus-nature tale spun in a spare, beautiful style.