Dorothy Parker's quips and light verse have embedded themselves in
the American literary landscape, but it was her prose that proved
her star and demonstrated her talent as extending far beyond her
time. In her fiction, she not only brought to life the urban milieu
that was her bailiwick, but lay bare the uncertainties of ordinary
people living ordinary lives, all told in her unflinching and
deeply personal voice.
At his death in 1994, Ralph Ellison left behind roughly two
thousand pages of his unfinished second novel, which he had spent
nearly four decades writing. Long awaited, it was to have been the
work Ellison intended to follow his masterpiece, Invisible Man.
These 13 stories by the author of The Invisible Man "approach the
elegance of Chekhov" (Washington Post) and provide "early
explorations of (Ellison's) lifelong fascination with the 'complex
fate' and 'beautiful absurdity' of American identity" (John
From the Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Sea, a
dazzling and audacious new novel that extends the story of Isabel
Archer, the heroine of Henry James's The Portrait of a Lady,
into unexpected territory.
Isabel Archer is a young American woman, swept off to Europe in the
late nineteenth century by an aunt who hopes to round out the
impetuous but naïve girl's experience of the world.
In 1852, young Walt Whitman—a down-on-his-luck housebuilder
in Brooklyn—was hard at work writing two books. One would
become one of the most famous volumes of poetry in American
history, a free-verse revelation beloved the world
over, Leaves of Grass.
Charles Arrowby, leading light of England's theatrical set, retires
from glittering London to an isolated home by the sea. He plans to
write a memoir about his great love affair with Clement Makin, his
mentor, both professionally and personally, and amuse himself with
Lizzie, an actress he has strung along for many years.
In this haunting 1935 novel, the Pulitzer Prize–winning
author of My Ántonia performs crystalline variations
on the themes that preoccupy her greatest fiction. the impermanence
of innocence, the opposition between prairie and city, provincial
American values and world culture, and the grandeur, elation, and
heartache that await a gifted young woman who leaves her small
Nebraska town to pursue a life in art.
First published in 1926, this book is Willa Cather's sparest and
most dramatic novel, a dark and prescient portrait of a marriage
that subverts our oldest notions about the nature of domestic
As a young woman, Myra Henshawe gave up a fortune to marry for
love--a boldly romantic gesture that became a legend in her family.
A Lost Lady is the portrait of a frontier woman who reflects
the conventions of her age even as she defies them. To the
people of Sweet Water, a fading railroad town on the Western
plains, Mrs. Forrester is the resident aristocrat, at once gracious
and comfortably remote.