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Great American Fiction

Take a look at our selection of American fiction and you'll see how many of today's bestsellers are part of a rich tradition of great writing that goes back over many years.

Any list of classic American fiction would generally include a handful of usual suspects that are almost impossible to ignore: Moby-Dick, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Great Gatsby, The Grapes of Wrath, The Catcher in the Rye, To Kill a Mockingbird, to name but a few. These novels tend to obscure the imposing depth and breadth of the American literary tradition so, with this selection, we hope to highlight some personal favourites that are often unjustly overlooked.

  • The Bell Jar 3 for 2 item

    The Bell Jar
    Sylvia Plath

    Paperback · 05 Feb 1976 · €11.35

    A student from Boston wins a guest editorship on a national magazine, and finds a new world at her feet. Her New York life is crowded with possibilities, so the choice of future is overwhelming. She is faced with the perennial problems of morality, behaviour and identity.

  • A Gate at the Stairs 3 for 2 item

    A Gate at the Stairs
    Lorrie Moore

    Paperback · 22 Apr 2010 · €12.80

    Twenty-year-old Tassie Keltjin, a 'half-Jewish' farmer's daughter from the plains of the Midwest, has come to university. When she takes a job as a part-time nanny to a couple who seem at once mysterious and glamorous, Tassie is drawn into the life of their newly-adopted child and increasingly complicated household.

  • The New York Trilogy 3 for 2 item

    The New York Trilogy
    Paul Auster

    Paperback · 02 Jun 2011 · €12.80

    Includes three cleverly interconnected novels, that contains stories in which the search for clues leads to remarkable coincidences in the universe as the simple act of trailing a man ultimately becomes a startling investigation of what it means to be human.

  • Blood Meridian 3 for 2 item

    Blood Meridian
    Cormac McCarthy

    Paperback · 01 Jan 2010 · €12.80

    I have rarely encountered anything as powerful, as unsettling, or as memorable as Blood Meridian ... A nightmare odyssey' Evening Standard

  • The Emperor's Children 3 for 2 item

    The Emperor's Children
    Claire Messud

    Paperback · 06 Apr 2007 · €14.20

    In the glittering tradition of Edith Wharton, The Emperor's Children examines life in upper-crust Manhattan, and tells a compelling story of ambition, vanity and tragedy.

  • The Heart is a Lonely Hunter 3 for 2 item

    The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
    Carson McCullers

    Paperback · 31 Aug 2000 · €14.20

    A group of people have little in common except that they are all hopelessly lonely. A young girl, a drunken socialist and a black doctor are drawn to a gentle, sympathetic deaf mute, whose presence changes their lives.

  • Invisible Man 3 for 2 item

    Invisible Man
    Ralph Ellison

    Paperback · 02 Aug 2001 · €14.20

    Tells the story of a man invisible 'simply because people refuse to see me'. In this book, the author from his expulsion from a Southern college to a terrifying Harlem race riot - go far beyond the story of one individual.

  • Ragtime 3 for 2 item

    E L Doctorow

    Paperback · 02 Feb 2006 · €14.20

    Welcome to America at the turn of the twentieth century, where the rhythms of ragtime set the beat. Harry Houdini astonishes audiences with magical feats of escape, the mighty J P Morgan dominates the financial world and Henry Ford manufactures cars by making men into machines.

  • Rabbit, Run 3 for 2 item

    Rabbit, Run
    John Updike

    Paperback · 01 Jun 2006 · €14.20

    It's 1959 and Harry 'Rabbit' Angstrom, one time high school sports superstar, is going nowhere. At twenty-six he is trapped in a second-rate existence - stuck with a fragile, alcoholic wife, a house full of overflowing ashtrays and discarded glasses, a young son and a futile job.

  • A Confederacy of Dunces 3 for 2 item

    A Confederacy of Dunces
    John Kennedy Toole

    Paperback · 30 Mar 2000 · €12.80

    The ordinary folk of New Orleans seem to think he is unhinged as well. Ignatius ignores them as he heaves his vast bulk through the city's fleshpots in a noble crusade against vice, modernity and ignorance. But his momma has a nasty surprise in store for him.

  • First Forty-Nine Stories 3 for 2 item

    First Forty-Nine Stories
    Ernest Hemingway

    Paperback · 05 Jan 1995 · €11.35

    A collection of Hemingway's first forty-nine short stories, including "Up in Michigan", "Fifty Grand", and "The Light of the World", and the "Snows of Kilimanjaro", "Winner Take Nothing" and "Men Without Women" collections.

  • Post Office 3 for 2 item

    Post Office
    Charles Bukowski

    Paperback · 02 Apr 2009 · €12.80

    Henry Chinaski is a lowlife loser with a hand-to-mouth existence. His menial post office day job supports a life of beer, one-night stands and racetracks.

  • Beloved 3 for 2 item

    Toni Morrison

    Paperback · 06 Dec 2007 · €12.80

    Terrible, unspeakable things happened to Sethe at Sweet Home, the farm where she lived as a slave for many years until she escaped to Ohio. Her new life is full of hope but eighteen years later she is still not free. Sethe's new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved.

  • Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant 3 for 2 item

    Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant
    Anne Tyler

    Paperback · 02 May 2013 · €12.80

    When Pearl Tull's husband, Beck, abandons her she pours her energies into preserving normality. Only gradually do her three children realise their father is gone for good. Now, as Pearl lies on her deathbed, the impact of Beck's abrupt departure unspools: on Cody who can't overcome his anger, and on mild Ezra who must always keep the peace.

  • A Prayer for Owen Meany 3 for 2 item

    A Prayer for Owen Meany
    John Irving

    Paperback · 01 May 1990 · €12.80

    Eleven-year-old Owen Meany, playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire, hits a foul ball and kills his best friend's mother. Owen doesn't believe in accidents; he believes he is God's instrument. What happens to Owen after that 1953 foul ball is both extraordinary and terrifying.

  • Tales of the City 3 for 2 item

    Tales of the City
    Armistead Maupin

    Paperback · 11 Sep 2000 · €11.35

    A naive young secretary, fresh out of Cleveland, tumbles headlong into a brave new world of laundromat Lotharios, pot-growing landladies, cut throat debutantes, and Jockey Shorts dance contests. The saga that ensues is manic, romantic, tawdry, touching, and outrageous.