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Famous 20th century American writers

The twentieth century was not easy for the whole world. The moods and events of that time were directly reflected in the literature. Much happened in America at that time: the Great Depression, the call for war, the industrial revolution, interracial clashes... This and more can be found in more detail from novels and short stories of that period.

We offer a walk through the most significant figures and works of American literature of the 20th century.

Top American classic writers — typewriter photo — American Butler

Classic writers and popular works of literature

Many of the works of the first half of the twentieth century were included in the so-called gold fund. In those days, absolute leadership was entrenched in realism: poets and writers considered it important to accurately convey to descendants descriptions of the situation and mood of society. This helped shape important ideas for the new generation. Not everyone was able to do this, because publishers strictly filtered the works in terms of compliance with religious and moral canons.

William Faulkner

Faulkner grew up in the southern United States, in the state of Mississippi. His family was engaged in business, but rapidly impoverished. And it was the fate of the southerners that became the central motive of his works. Faulkner also actively raised topics of the crippling people of war, racism, conflicts between the aristocracy and the poor. In 1949 he received the Nobel Prize in literature.

Significant works:

  • The Sound and the Fury – 1929, about the collapse of the southern aristocratic family;
  • As I Lay Dying – 1930, the novel is a direct speech about life and death in a farming family;
  • A Fable – 1954, the theme of man and war, the novel received the Pulitzer Prize.

Famous American writers in the USA — photo of William Faulkner — American Butler

Margaret Mitchell

Mitchell came from a fairly wealthy family in Atlanta, received an excellent education and worked as a reporter for a local newspaper. But due to a leg injury, he had to quit active work. There were many historians in the Mitchell family, so Margaret orientated herself perfectly in this topic. She was especially interested in the topic of the Civil War.

Significant works:

  • Gone with the Wind – 1936 epic novel about life during the Civil War through the prism of a northern family. The writer worked on it for 10 years and received the Pulitzer Prize in 1937.

Theodore Dreiser

The writer was born into a very poor, religious and tyrannical family in Indiana. He had no opportunity to get a decent education, so from the age of 16 he went to work in local newspapers with the desire to be realized as a writer. He always had problems with publishers about “defective morality”: Dreiser was an ardent opponent of religion and was not shy about naturalism. That is, he loved to portray life as he saw it, with all the unpleasant and private details.

Significant works:

  • "Trilogy of desire" novels The Financier, The Titan, The Stoic - the theme of the role of man in the great machine of American business;
  • The Genius – 1915, a biographical novel about an unrecognized artist, was banned for publication for a long time;
  • An American Tragedy – 1925, a novel about how originally a "pure" person changes society.

Фото Эрнеста Хемингуэя — лучшие американские писатели-классики — American ButlerErnest Hemingway

One who hardly needs an introduction. One of the recognized geniuses of the era was born in Illinois. During World War I, as a young man, he worked in organizing the Red Cross on the Italian fronts, was badly wounded more than two hundred times and was terribly worried about his “worthlessness” because of this.

He wrote stories in American newspapers, traveled to Europe and Africa, participated in World War II, was married 4 times, lived for some time in Cuba, received the Pulitzer and Nobel Prizes ... His biography is almost impossible to retell briefly. But it was precisely this that gave him an incredibly broad outlook and rich experience for writing great stories.

Significant works:

  • A Farewell to Arms! – 1929, a love story during the war;
  • For whom the bell Tolls – 1940, a novel about fates lost in the wreckage of conflicts and wars;
  • The Old Man and the Sea – 1952 philosophical novel about the power of the Spirit, which is in the top 50 of world literature.

Photo Margaret Mitchell – American writers — American Butler

Francis Scott Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald was born into a wealthy Minnesota family, but at the same time he fell into the ranks of the "lost generation." This is the name of young people who faced the horrors of war before they managed to graduate from high school. He could not get an education, volunteered for the front, survived the betrayal of his beloved woman, but still managed to be realized as a writer. His novels brought him fantastic wealth at the time. And despite the fact that he idly disposed of it, more than once in the novels the theme of social injustice and decay of the person because of money flashed.

Significant works:

  • The Great Gatsby – 1925, a novel about the internal crisis of carefree and wealthy years after the First World War;
  • Tender Is the Night – 1934 story about love, thwarted ambition, money and circumstances.

Classical literature in the USA – best writers of the 20th century – American ButlerNew wave

The second half of the twentieth century is already more motley in the variety of genres. Science fiction, horrors, satire, detective stories are gaining popularity, postmodernism is flourishing. We offer a compact list of American writers from the must read category.

  1. Isaac Asimov - one of the pioneers of science fiction, from whom Ilon Musk is inspired;
  2. Ray Bradbury is the author of one of the most famous anti-utopias and wonderful stories about the best times of our lives;
  3. Howard Lovecraft - creator of atmospheric legends of Cthulhu;
  4. Kurt Vonnegut is the best satirist not only of his time, but of many generations to come;
  5. Edgar Burroughs - it was he who invented Tarzan and John Carter, about which films are being made;
  6. Lymen Frank Baum - the one who paved the yellow brick path; classic children's literature, which is loved by adults;
  7. Jerome Sullinger is the idol of all teenagers in the world;
  8. Jack Kerouac is the founder of informal hipster literature.

American literature of the 20th century constitutes a significant layer of the world's best-selling books.

American Butler recommends starting with literature and ending with direct immersion.

We will help you to visit the USA conveniently, interestingly and cheerfully - just contact us by phone, e-mail or through a chat window.
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