Books I’ve Stumbled Upon, Pt. 2—Great or Near-Great Fiction

     I would bet that very few of the following get taught academically in courses on the novel.  They tend not to fit in.

Gerald Hanley – Noble Descents

Alexander Kielland – Skipper Worse

Rebecca West – The Birds Fall Down

Eden Philpotts – Children of the Mist

Henry Adams – Democracy

Brian Moore – The Emperor of Ice Cream; The Statement; The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne (the last of these is tough to read because it is such an unsparing depiction of a very bleak life)

Mario Puzo – The Fortunate Pilgrim

Sue Kaufman – Diary Of a Mad Housewife

Kathryn Hulme – The Nun’s Story

Joseph Hergesheimer – Tampico

Jose Maria Gironella – The Cypresses Believe in God (about the Spanish Civil War; with 3 sequels, the last of which hasn’t, I think, been translated into English)

Uwe Johnson – Speculations About Jakob

John Lanchester – Mr. Phillips

George Borrow – Lavengro (continued by The Romany Rye)

Lew Wallace – Ben Hur

     Some famous writers have less well known works that are outstanding; somehow they get overlooked:

Dostoyevsky – The Insulted And Injured

Henry Fielding – Amelia

Henry James – The Tragic Muse

Nathaniel Hawthorne – The Marble Faun

     There are also some very good unfinished works of fiction by famous writers:

Jane Austen – Sanditon

Alexander Pushkin – DUBROVSKY

Dickens – The Mystery Of Edwin Drood

Albert Camus – The First Man

     In concluding, let me purloin some books from the category of popular or genre fiction.  You probably wouldn’t want to call them “great,” but I’m very glad that I didn’t miss them:

Eugene Manlove Rhodes – Paso Por Aqui

Robert Cormier – The Chocolate War

Edith Pargeter – Reluctant Odyssey (What am I doing recommending this on its own, when it’s the second of a trilogy?  Because I read it on its own.)

Mary Pat Kelly – Special Intentions

John Meade Falkner – The Nebuly Coat

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