Literature by Place

It's kind of crazy to what extent geography can inform an author's work. Jack London spent most of his life at sea, dog-sledding across Alaska, boxing and generally being an adventurous guy who would put today's REI crowd to shame. Would he have penned some of the greatest American novels otherwise? especially ones concerned primarily with man battling the elements for survival in both a mental and physical sense? Very probably not, which explains why Oscar Wilde didn't write about wolves and crazy ship captains.

No, Oscar Wilde wrote primarily about fops and society people parrying witticisms incessantly. That's not to say his work has no place in a serious consideration of literature—au contraire, The Picture of Dorian Grey is one of the finest novels written in English. It's just more evidence that if you're an author who lives in the Candian mountains or the clubs of London, your writing will reflect that.

Physical terrain isn't the only consideration. Sartre wrote about people lolling about with no real sense of purpose except to drink wine and smoke cigarettes and look languorous because he lived in France in the 1940s. Friedrich Nietzsche had immense mustaches and espoused a form of nihilism because he was German. The Russians wrote impossibly long novels because they lived in Russia. And Chinua Achebe was almost entirely influenced by his African upbringing.

That's not to say no one can write well about a context they haven't experienced firsthand. I'm pretty sure Robert Heinlein never visited Mars, and even if he did it wasn't as his books describe; the same goes for Bradbury. And no, Roald Dahl was never lost in a delightfully (though at times, terrifyingly) absurd chocolate factory. Yet even with these examples, the authors conveyed essentially the attitudes of the countries they came from—Heinlein and Bradbury from the U.S., Dahl from the U.K.

Our Literature by Place subcategories are admittedly Anglo-centric. North American literature features, well, American literature, and you can be pretty sure British literature reflects the same system; everything else goes in world literature. We have plenty of non-American or -British literature, we just don't have much from any one place besides those two. At any rate, we hope these categories are helpful, and if they guide you toward one book you're looking for (or maybe one you didn't even know existed), they've done their job.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.

 

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2,015 Items found Print
1984
Signet Classics
by George Orwell
from Signet Classics
for 10th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
1984
by George Orwell
from Harcourt
for 10th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$17.00
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Sterling Classics
by Jules Verne, illustrated by Scott McKowen
from Sterling Publishing Co.
for 5th-10th grade
in Sterling Classics (Location: FIC-STE)
$14.95
2001: A Space Odyssey
by Arthur C. Clarke
from ROC Science Fiction
for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$8.99
21
Aubrey/Maturin #21
by Patrick O'Brian
from W. W. Norton and Co.
Nautical Fiction for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
Abolition of Man
by C. S. Lewis
from HarperCollins
Philosophy/Religion for 10th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$16.99
Abraham Lincoln: Great Speeches
Dover Thrift Editions
by Abraham Lincoln & John Grafton, editor
from Dover Publications
Political Philosophy for 10th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$2.00
Abraham Lincoln: Selected Speeches and Writings
by Abraham Lincoln, introduction by Gore Vidal
from Library of America
for 9th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$16.95
Accordion Crimes
by E. Annie Proulx
from Charles Scribner's Sons
for 10th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$4.50 (1 in stock)
Account of Mary Rowlandson and Other Indian Captivity Narratives
by Mary Rowlandson
from Dover Publications
for 9th-Adult
in 17th Century Literature (Location: LIT4-17)
$5.95
Adam Bede
Everyman's Library
by George Eliot
from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
Realistic Fiction for 9th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$24.00
Adventures and Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
by Arthur Conan Conan Doyle
from Penguin Classics
for 7th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$14.00
Adventures and Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
Sterling Classics
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, illustrated by Scott McKowen
Unabridged from Sterling Publishing Co.
for 7th-12th grade
in Sterling Classics (Location: FIC-STE)
$14.95
Adventures of Don Quixote
by Miguel De Cervantes, illustrated by W. Heath Robinson
from State Street Press
for 10th-Adult
in 17th Century Literature (Location: LIT4-17)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
by Mark Twain
from Dover Publications
Realistic Fiction for 7th-10th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$6.00
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
by Mark Twain
from Easton Press
for 10th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
by Mark Twain
New Ed from University of California Press
for 10th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$15.95
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
by Mark Twain
3rd edition from W. W. Norton and Co.
for 10th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$8.00 (1 in stock)
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
by Mark Twain
from Bantam Books
Realistic Fiction for 7th-10th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
by Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 4th-6th grade
in Companion Library (Location: VIN-COL)
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
by Mark Twain
from Penguin Classics
for 9th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$8.00 $4.50 (2 in stock)
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
by Mark Twain
from Nelson Doubleday, Inc.
for 9th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$4.00 (1 in stock)
Adventures of Robin Hood
Reader's Digest World's Best Reading
by Paul Creswick, illustrated by N. C. Wyeth
from Reader's Digest
for 6th-12th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$9.00 (1 in stock)
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Reader's Digest World's Best Reading
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, illustrated by Richard Lebenson
from Reader's Digest
for 7th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Books of Wonder
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, illustrated by Barry Moser
from HarperCollins
for 7th-12th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$15.00 (1 in stock)
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, illustrated by Sidney Paget
100th Anniversary from SeaWolf Press
in Seawolf Illustrated Classics (Location: FIC-SW)
$10.95
Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Whole Story Series
by Mark Twain, illustrated by Claude Lapointe
from Viking Press
Realistic Fiction for 6th-10th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Dover Thrift Editions
by Mark Twain
from Dover Publications
for 6th-10th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$5.00
Adventures of Tom Sawyer
by Mark Twain
Limited Edition from Franklin Library
Realistic Fiction for 8th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Reader's Digest World's Best Reading
by Mark Twain, illustrated by Paul Geiger
from Reader's Digest
for 7th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
Adventures of Tom Sawyer
by Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 4th-6th grade
in Companion Library (Location: VIN-COL)
Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Puffin Classics
by Mark Twain
from Penguin Classics
Realistic Fiction for 6th-10th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$9.00
Aeneid
by Virgil (translation by Robert Fitzgerald)
from Vintage Classics
Ancient Literature/Epic Poetry for 10th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
$14.00
Aeneid
Penguin Classics
by Virgil (translation by David West)
Reissue from Penguin Classics
for 9th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
Aeneid
Penguin Classics
by Virgil (translation by Sarah Ruden)
Reissue from Yale University Press
for 9th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
Aeneid Of Virgil
by Virgil
from Bantam Books
for 10th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
Aeschylus II: The Oresteia
The Complete Greek Tragedies
by Aeschylus (translation by Richmond Lattimore)
3rd edition from University of Chicago
Ancient Greek Tragedy for 10th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
$12.00
Aeschylus' Oresteia
Penguin Classics
by Aeschylus (translation by Robert Fagles)
from Penguin Classics
Ancient Greek Tragedy for 10th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
Aeschylus' Oresteian Trilogy
Penguin Classics
by Aeschylus, translated by Phillip Vellacott
from Penguin Classics
Ancient Greek Tragedy for 10th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
$13.00 $7.00 (1 in stock)
Aesop's Fables
by Aesop
from Signet Classics
Fairy Tales & Fables for 10th grade-adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
$5.95
Aesop's Fables
Puffin Classics
by Aesop
Reprint from Puffin Books
Myths, Fairy Tales & Folklore for Kindergarten-4th grade
in Puffin Classics (Location: FIC-PUF)
$6.99
Africa Letters
by Sarah Allen
2nd edition
for Adult
in Clearance: Literature (Location: ZCLE-LIT)
$4.00 (1 in stock)
Age of Innocence
by Edith Wharton
from Charles Scribner's Sons
for 10th-Adult
1921 Pulitzer Prize winner
in Clearance: Literature (Location: ZCLE-LIT)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
Agnes Grey
Penguin Classics
by Anne Bronte
from Penguin Classics
Realistic Romantic Fiction for 10th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$12.00 $6.00 (1 in stock)
Agnes Grey
by Anne Bronte, Illustrated by Edmund Dulac
from SeaWolf Press
Realistic Romantic Fiction for 10th-Adult
in Seawolf Illustrated Classics (Location: FIC-SW)
$7.95
Alchemist
by Paulo Coelho
from HarperCollins
for 10th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$16.99
Alexander of Macedon
International Collectors Library
by Harold Lamb
from International Collectors Library
for 4th-8th grade
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
Alfred the Great
by Asser
from Penguin Classics
Biography for 9th-Adult
in Medieval Literature (Location: LIT2-MED)
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
from Sweetwater Press
for 9th-Adult
in Poetry (Location: POET-GEN)
Alice in Wonderland
by Lewis Carroll, illustrated by John Tenniel
from Blushing Rose Publishing
for 5th-8th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$12.00 (1 in stock)
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