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.
My Name Is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok. In postwar Brooklyn, a young Hasidic Jew grapples with honoring his faith while somehow still feeding his insatiable desire to create art.
The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers. Race, politics, and the irrepressibility of the human spirit are all on display in this semi-autobiographical masterpiece of a novel set in 1930s Georgia.
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. The Pulitzer Prize-winning saga of the Joad family’s journey from Dust Bowl-devastated Oklahoma to an indifferent, hardscrabble California paints a searing picture of poverty and class in the U.S.