Browsing over at the superbly delightful A Commonplace Blog this afternoon (I’ve certainly spent more than the usual bit of time online today, haven’t I?), I found a link to this interesting Neglected Books site, which includes this list of 100 Great American Novels You’ve (Probably) Never Read.
Lamentably, I confess that at first glance none of them even seemed familiar to me. A second look, though, brought one spark of recognition: Anzia Yezierska’s The Bread Givers. It was assigned to me in a college freshman history seminar. As I recall, I really liked it. All I remember right now is a scene where the protagonist, an ambitious, talented young woman, the daughter of Jewish immigrants, shocks and offends her family when she refuses to tear her expensive work clothes as a sign of mourning when her father dies. No, wait, just as I typed that I remembered something else: when she fails a college class, she demands a refund of her tuition. I liked that.
So if the rest of the books on this list are that good, they’ll have to queue up on the to do list. And I’ll have to check out that Neglected Books site some more.
*sigh* Just not enough hours in the day…