Classic Literature and Fiction
Fiction, Native American
Legends, Myths, and Folk Tales
Short Stories (multiple authors)
Short Stories (single author)
“Nan turned to see Ben’s faceturn as hard and white as asauerkraut crock. When he didnot respond, Nan figured thathe was just going to back offas he usually did, the shy andretiring husbandman. She didnot know her history. She didnot know that shy and retiringhusbandmen have been knownto revolt against oppressionwith pitchforks drawn.”
The twelve stories in Teach the Free Man mark the impressive debut of Peter Nathaniel Malae. The subject of incarceration thematically links the stories, yet their range extends beyond the prison’s barbed wire and iron bars. Avoiding sensationalism, Malae exposes the heart and soul in those dark, seemingly inaccessible corridors of the human experience.The
The son of former slaves, Paul Laurence Dunbar was one of the most prominent figures in American literature at the turn of the twentieth century. Thirty-three years old at the time of his death in 1906, he had published four novels, four collections of short stories, and fourteen books of poetry, as well as numerous songs, plays, and essays in newspapers and magazines around the world.In
In these stories of magic and memory, clustered around a resort hotel in a small Virginia community, Cary Holladay takes the reader on an excursion through the changes wrought by time on the community and its visitors. From the quiet of a rural forest to the rhythms of rock and roll, The Quick-Change Artist is at once whimsical and hard-edged, dizzying in its matter-of-fact delivery of the fantastic.Romance,
The twelve stories in The Prisoner Pear: Stories from the Lake take place in an affluent suburb of Portland, Oregon, but they could be taken from any number of similar enclaves across the United States. These stories infuse stark reality with occasional hints of magical realism to explore what the American dream means to twenty-first-century suburbanites.
Polish émigrés have written poignantly about the pain of exile in letters, diaries, and essays; others, more recently, have recreated Polish-American communities in works of fiction. But it is Danuta Mostwin’s fiction, until now unavailable in English translation, that bridges the divide between Poland and America, exile and emigration.Mostwin and her husband survived the ravages of World War II, traveled to Britain, and then emigrated to the United States.
“Memory, of course, is sometimes like a bucking horse, sometimes a runaway one, and one must control the reins until finally it stops, snorting with exhausted relief,” writes Natalie L. M. Petesch in her haunting new collection, The Confessions of Señora Francesca Navarro and Other Stories.Petesch immerses readers in the lives of people caught up in the 1936–39 Spanish Civil War, which left more than five hundred thousand dead.
The first African American fiction writer to earn a national reputation, Charles W. Chesnutt remains best known for his depictions of Southern life before and after the Civil War. But he also produced a large body of what might best be called his “Northern” writings, and those works, taken together, describe the intriguing ways in which America was reshaping itself at the turn of the last century.The
In her startling collection of short stories, Broken Lives and Other Stories, Anthonia C. Kalu creates a series of memorable characters who struggle to hold displaced but dynamic communities together in a country that is at war with itself.Broken Lives and Other Stories presents a portrait of the ordinary women, children, and men whose lives have been battered by war in their homeland.
The title of Helen Papanikolas’ second collection of short stories, The Apple Falls from the Apple Tree, is taken from an old Greek proverb and speaks of the new generation’s struggle with the vestiges of Greek customs. Gone are the raw, overt emotions of the pioneers, their bold prejudices, and, especially, the haunting black fatalism of funerals. Yet their children retain much of their parents’ culture.
The Wild Earth’s Nobility is the first of Frank Waters’s semiautobiographical novels in the Pikes Peak saga. Here, in a frontier town in the shadow of the commanding mountain, the Rogier family settles near an age-old route of migrating Native Americans. In an era of prospecting, silver strikes, and frenzied mining, Joseph Rogier becomes a successful building contractor, rears a large family, and is gradually overwhelmed by the power of the great peak.In
In Below Grass Roots, the second book in Frank Waters’s Pikes Peak saga, turn-of-the-century Colorado Springs is prospering with the mining boom and a growing tourist industry. Patriarch Joseph Rogier becomes ever more obsessed with the treasures of the towering mountain and tries to enlist his son-in-law Jonathan Cable in his mining schemes. Cable instead leaves for Navajo country with his young son.
Based on one of the most significant periods in Frank Waters’s own life, Pike’s Peak is perhaps the most complete expression of all the archetypal themes he explored in both fiction and nonfiction.In The Dust within the Rock, the third book in the Pikes Peak saga, an aging Joseph Rogier clings to his vision of finding gold in the great mountain and his grandson Marsh comes of age in the Rogier household.
The Man Who Created Paradise, a fable inspired by a true story, tells how young Wally Spero looked at one of the bleakest places in America—the strip-mined spoil banks of southeastern Ohio—and saw in it his escape from the drudgery of his factory job.
Rudy Wiebe’s The Temptations of Big Bear is an epic of the Canadian West. As the buffalo-based food supply vanishes, Big Bear leads his Plains Cree nation across the prairie in search of a means of retaining the way of life quickly being lost—a life his people have lived for thousands of years.
In 1906 a young, semiliterate Greek arrived in America with a fewdollars in his pocket and his people’s legacy of proverbs, superstitions, and cultural traits to guide him through the dangers and opportunities of a new world. The Time of the Little Black Bird begins with the story of this young man and his plan to build a future for his family as it makes its way in America.Told
In the spring of 1916, as the workers for woman suffrage were laying plans for another attack on the bastions of male supremacy, the idea for The Sturdy Oak was born: a satiric look at the gender roles of the time written as a collaborative effort by the leading authors of the day, such as Fannie Hurst, Dorothy Canfield, and Kathleen Norris.
Unlike other young women of her generation, who were “bred up from childhood to sit behind tea-tables and say the right things to tea-drinkers,” Sylvia Marshall—the “twig” of this novel—was reared to think for herself and to trust her own instincts and experience. This, coupled with her passionate temperament, makes Sylvia a compelling figure as she resists efforts to mold her with every rebellious fiber of her independent nature.Sylvia’s
In 1919 a middle-aged Chicago advertising writer from Ohio, a failure as a businessman, husband, and father, published a small yellow book of short stories intended to “reform” American literature. Against all expectations, Winesburg, Ohio: A Group of Tales of Ohio Small Town Life achieved what its author intended: after 1919 and after Winesburg, Ohio, American literature would be written and read freshly and differently.Winesburg,
Ladders to Fire, Children of the Albatross, The Four-Chambered Heart, A Spy in the House of Love, Seduction of the Minotaur. Haunting and hypnotic, these five novels by Anaïs Nin began in 1946 to appear in quiet succession. Though published separately over the next fifteen years, the five were conceived as a continuous experience—a continuous novel like Proust’s, real and flowing as a river.The
The second edition of To Kill a Man’s Pride builds on the success of the previous edition of this anthology of South African short stories by retaining most of stories, but also featuring more women writers and new male voice, to make it more representative.The milieu remains unambiguously South African, with some stories set in rural areas such as the village, farm or dorp, and others in urban centers such as the big city, suburb or township.The
Helen Papanikolas has been honored frequently for her work in ethnic and labor history. Among her many publications are Toil and Rage in a New Land: The Greek Immigrants in Utah, Peoples of Utah (ed.), and her parents’ own story of migration, Emily-George. With Small Bird, Tell Me, she joins a long and ancient tradition of Greek story-tellers whose art informs and enriches our lives.
Higher Elevations: Stories from the West is a rich and varied anthology of fiction from Writers’ Forum. As the subtitle promises, it is regional, but these are not all stories from your grandfather’s (or Hollywood’s) West.
This collection of stories by award-winning write Jane Candia Coleman is about women coming of age. In each one, the protagonist discovers facets, truths about herself and the world that she has not known—finds places in herself where she has never been.“It’s
Richter’s novels and stories are filled with the fire of poetic prose and the drama of real lives. This is a reissue of the 1937 tale of cattle ranching on the high-grass plains of New Mexico at a time when a single man could control, if he were fierce enough, a ranch as big as some eastern seaboard states, but perhaps not hold the woman he loves as fiercely as the land.
An excerpt from Stories from Mesa Country:“They are coming back from the burial ground. I can see them walking, two abreast, along the narrow track by the wash. Tom has his head down, his hands in the pockets of his black suit. Beside him, Reverend Sherman is talking, waving his arms, trying, I’d guess, to comfort. Behind them come Enid and Faith, square shapes in best blue dresses, and then Seth and Arch, leggy as colts, uncomfortable in Sunday suits, in the shadow of tragedy.
Toward the close of the eighteenth century, the land west of the Alleghenies and north of the Ohio River was an unbroken sea of trees. Beneath them the forest trails were dark, silent, and lonely, brightened only by a few lost beams of sunlight. Here, in the first novel of Conrad Richter’s Awakening Land trilogy, the Lucketts, a wild, woods-faring family, lived their roaming life, pushing ever westward as the frontier advanced and as new settlements threatened their isolation.
Conrad Richter’s trilogy of novels The Trees (1940), The Fields (1946), and The Town, (1950) traces the transformation of Ohio from wilderness to farmland to the site of modern industrial civilization, all in the lifetime of one character. The trilogy earned Richter immediate acclaim as a historical novelist. The Town won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1951, and The Trees was a Book-of-the-Month Club selection soon after it was published.
Ma Ma Lay’s 1955 novel of the marriage between a rural teenager to a powerful Anglophile twenty years her senior, set in prewar Burma, is an engaging drama, finely observed work of social realism, and stirring rejection of Western cultural dominance by Burma’s foremost female author and one of its preeminent voices for change.
This collection of stories is, like Petesch’s previous work, distinguished by its brilliant lyrical intensity and by characters who are stunningly alive. It is a powerful collection about impassioned cultural conflicts in present-day Spain and Mexico; it is also a book about ourselves—how we have failed to love the Earth and have squandered our resources.In the title story, it is Justina Olivia who breaks the moral law of her village in an unforgettable love story.
Without humor, the American West would be a vast territory of arid clichés — stolid cowboys and fearless lawmen, or, in more modern visions, dastardly land developers and fanatical environmentalists — all of them as lifeless as an alkalai flat.
Blending historical fact and classical myth, the author of Zorba the Greek and The Last Temptation of Christ transports the reader 3,000 years into the past, to a pivotal point in history: the final days before the ancient kingdom of Minoan Crete is to be conquered and supplanted by the emerging city-state of Athens. Translated by Theodora Vasils and Themi Vasils.The
During the fabulous reign of Colorado Silver, innumerable prospectors passed by Pike’s Peak on their way to the silver strikes at Leadville, Aspen, and the boom camps in the Saguache, Sangre de Cristo, and San Juan mountain. Then, in 1890, a carpenter named Winfield Scott Stratton discovered gold along Cripple Creek. By 1900, this six square mile area on the south slope of Pike’s Peak supported 475 mines and led the world in gold production.
A mile down the road from the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, a woman unearths an ancient shard of pottery bearing the thousands-year-old thumbprint of a Navawi‘i woman. A marriage is thrown into crisis by the husband’s discovery, on a fishing trip, of a girl’s corpse. To impress the prostitute he wants to marry, a man constructs a homemade atomic bomb.
Based on the real life of Edith Warner, who ran a tearoom at Otowi Crossing, just below Los Alamos, The Woman at Otowi Crossing is the story of Helen Chalmer, a person in tune with her adopted environment and her neighbors in the nearby Indian pueblo and also a friend of the first atomic scientists. The secret evolution of atomic research is a counterpoint to her psychic development.In
Frank Waters, whose work has spanned half a century, has continually attempted to depict the reconciliation of opposites, to heal the national wounds of polarization.Flight From Fiesta, Waters’ first novel in nearly two decades, is testimony to that aspiration, emerging as a moving and masterfully–told story of two characters who must discover the potential for common ground between their personalities.Set in Santa Fe in the mid–fifties, the story itself is deceptively simple.
Flowering Mimosa is a story of lost innocence and coming of age among the disinherited of America in the 1980’s. Against a backdrop of social and economic disruption in the American southwest, Petesch traces the fates of the Wingfield family, who have lost their Texas farm and moved to a mining town in Silver Valley, Idaho.As various tensions threaten to break the family apart, Tamsen Wingfield reacts most strongly.
“The novel was begun in 1926, when I was twenty-four years old and working as a telephone engineer in Imperial Valley, on the California-Baja California border. During my stay there I made a horseback trip down into the little-known desert interior of Lower California. After having lived all of my early years in the high Rockies of California, I was unprepared for the vast sweep of sunstruck desert with its flat wastes, clumps of cacti, and barren parched-rock ranges.
From Sleep Unbound portrays the life of Samya, an Egyptian woman who is taken at age 15 from her Catholic boarding school and forced into a loveless and humiliating marriage. Eventually sundered from every human attachment, Samya lapses into despair and despondence, and finally an emotionally caused paralysis. But when she shakes off the torpor of sleep, the sleep of avoidance, she awakens to action with the explosive energy of one who has been reborn.
For Cricket Sings, Cahokia medicine woman, the omens have been bad. She is old, and so at this year’s Sun Ceremony she will tell her stories, the tales handed down from grandparents to grandchildren since the memory of the People began. The Sun King is dying, unable to perfom the Ceremony which will bring good crops to the fields.
“During the nineteen sixties, following the missile crisis and during the Vietnam War, communitarian societies began to reappear in the United States. Those who were of an invincibly optimistic nature gathered together in agrarian or utopian communes reminiscent of the nineteenth century.
In this historical novel based on the life of Alexander the Great, Kazantzakis has drawn on both the rich tradition of Greek legend and the documented manuscripts from the archives of history to recreate an Alexander in all his many-faceted images.
The Gunnysack Castle is principally the story of Vince Woods, and Anglicized Portuguese who rises from the ashes of his childhood dreams to become one of San Oriel’s wealthiest and most powerful citizens. A man of strong lusts and inflexible will, he attempts to manipulate the members of his family just as he does everyone else in the town who comes under his influence. The dynasty he longs to found ends in bitterness with his own demise.Concurrent
This third novel in the three Cases of Circumstantial Evidence provides an intimate portrayal of deception and corruption in one small poor Parisian family in the late 1600s. In contrast to the majesty of the court of Louis XIV and the bloodthirsty crowds of Paris at that time, the simple lives of Jean Larcher and his wife and son are pitiably ruined by the presence of a seducer and his political pamphlets. The result: personal and public passions mesh to hang an innocent man.
In the final novel of Richter’s Awakening Land trilogy, Sayward Wheeler completes her mission and lives to see the transition of her family and her friends, American pioneers, from the ways of wilderness to the ways of civilization. The Town, for which Richter won the Pulitzer Prize in 1951, is a much bigger book in every way than its predecessors; it is itself a rich contribution to literature and with the other novels comprises a great American epic.
The Fathers is the powerful novel by the poet and critic recognized as one of the great men of letters of our time.Old Major Buchan of Pleasant Hill, Fairfax County, Virginia, lived by a gentlemen’s agreement to ignore what was base or rude, to live a life which was gentle and comfortable because it was formal.
In this novel of the mestizo, or mixed-blood, Frank Waters completes the Southwestern canvas begun in The Man Who Killed the Deer and People of the Valley. Set in a violent Mexican border town, the story centers on Barby, a tormented mestizo, Guadalupe, the mestiza “percentage-girl,” and Tai-Ling, the serene yogi.
Although Anaïs Nin found in her diaries a profound mode of self-creation and confession, she could not reveal this intimate record of her own experiences during her lifetime. Instead, she turned to fiction, where her stories and novels became artistic “distillations” of her secret diaries.
“Collages began with an image which had haunted me. A friend, Renate, had told me about her trip to Vienna where she was born, and of her childhood relationships to statues. She told me stories of her childhood, her relationship to her father, her first love.I begin the novel with:Vienna was the city of statues. They were as numerous as the people who walked the streets.
An excerpt from Seduction of the Minotaur:Some voyages have their inception in the blueprint of a dream, some in the urgency of contradicting a dream. Lillian’s recurrent dream of a ship that could not reach the water, that sailed laboriously, pushed by her with great effort, through city streets, had determined her course toward the sea, as if she would give this ship, once and for all, its proper sea bed.She
Children of the Albatross is divided into two sections: “The Sealed Room” focuses on the dancer Djuna and a set of characters, chiefly male, who surround her; “The Café” brings together a cast of characters already familiar to Nin’s readers, but it is their meeting place that is the focal point of the story.As always, in Children of the Albatross, Nin’s writing is inseparable from her life.
After struggling with her own press and printing her own works, Anaïs Nin succeeded in getting Ladders to Fire accepted and published in 1946. This recognition marked a milestone in her life and career. Admitted into the fellowship of American novelists, she maintained the individuality of her literary style.
The Four-Chambered Heart, Anas Nin’s 1950 novel, recounts the real-life affair she conducted with caf guitarist Gonzalo Mor in 1936. Nin and Mor rented a house-boat on the Seine, and under the pervading influence of the boat’s watchman and Mor’s wife Helba, developed a relationship. Mor named the boat Nanankepichu, meaning not really a home.
The story of Martiniano, the man who killed the deer, is a timeless story of Pueblo Indian sin and redemption, and of the conflict between Indian and white laws; written with a poetically charged beauty of style, a purity of conception, and a thorough understanding of Indian values.