Independence Day; a time for Americans to come together and celebrate everything that has made (and still makes) their country what it is today. In celebration of this upcoming annual holiday for our friends across the pond, we're taking the time to appreciate some of the titans of American literature, whose works and talents have contributed greatly to the world of storytelling.
One of the most renowned American authors to have ever lived, and arguably the greatest American humorist, Mark Twain undeniably left an influential mark on the world of literature. Using real life locations that he lived in as a child as the influence for the settings of some his stories (most notably The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn), his humorous and entertaining works are undeniably American in every sense of the word.
They say the best art often comes from the most troubled minds, and Ernest Hemingway certainly is a strong example of this. From serving his country in the war (and suffering injuries whilst doing so), to barely surviving not one but two consecutive plane crashes, Hemingway's life was tragic right until the end. However, his strength and endurance allowed him to produce some of the greatest American literature of his time before his untimely end, and this is something he will always be remembered for.
There are few books that represent the "American dream" quite as well as The Great Gatsby, and F. Scott Fitzgerald deserves all of our praise for creating such memorable literature that is as prominent in the literary world today as it was when it was first written. Despite his unfortunate lifelong struggles with alcoholism, struggles which unfortunately cut his life short, his creative mind paired with his passion for writing novels resulted in a legacy that many could only dream of achieving in one hundred lifetimes.
Few authors, American or otherwise, have produced written works as thought-provoking as John Steinbeck. Using his own personal experiences to lay out the setting for Of Mice & Men, Steinbeck went on to win the Nobel Prize in Literature during his lifetime, further cementing himself as one of the true greats of American literature. With works that are still used to educate students across the world today, Steinbeck is not only a staple of 20th century American literature, but also a great influence on literature to come.
Originally wanting to go into the meat-importing business due to his father's influence, J. D. Salinger changed his career course early on due to his own disdain for European slaughterhouses. This lead him down a path that ultimately resulted in him writing The Catcher in the Rye and establishing himself as one of most memorable writers in American history. Salinger's story is one that really makes you wonder just how many incredible ideas there are in the world that have gone unrealised or unnoticed due to simple circumstances. Needless to say, any literature fan is surely grateful that Salinger chose the path he did in order to give us all that he had to offer!
*All images sourced from google search
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