Day: July 5, 2007

What, in your opinion, is the (mythical) Great American Novel? At least to date. A “classic,” or a current one–either would be fine. Mark Twain? J.D. Salinger? F. Scott Fitzgerald? Stephen King? Laura Ingalls Wilder?

It doesn’t have to be your favorite book, mind you. “Citizen Kane” may be the “best” film, and I concede its merits, but it’s not my favorite. You don’t have to love something to know that it’s good.Now, I know that not all of you are American–but you can play, too! What I want from you is to know what you consider to the best novel of YOUR country. It might be someone the rest of us haven’t heard of and, frankly, I think we’d all like to get some new authors to read. – BTT

Shamefully, I’ve read more American books and authors than Canadian ones. I’ve read more British books and writers as well. So I’ll take a stab at the American question because I’m quite the fan of John Steinbeck. I also grew up with the Laura Ingalls Wilder books and the TV series. I also think Jeffrey Eugenides novels are very American and modern classics. There are a lot of books I would consider great American novels. Edit: I must agree with the comment below that I love Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. The movie blows my mind as well.

As for Canadian novels, I must concede Margaret Atwood here. I haven’t read all of the Orpheus trilogy, but Robertson Davies falls in this category as well. Probably L. M. Montgomery, but I have not started on my Anne of Green Gables yet. I’m inclined to think children’s novels and stories usually make great best novels for countries.