This year marks the 200th birthday of Jane Austen’s classic work Pride and Prejudice. We asked several of our local literary experts what classic novels they would recommend to interested readers.
To Kill a Mockingbird would have to be my choice for several reasons. First, many people read it too young and don't understand the real tragedy of the story, which is not only the wrongful conviction but also the sexual abuse ignored by the community. And the characters are so well-written. This novel is such a testament to how much things have changed in the US but also how much further we have left to go.
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck is an American novel of a hard-working family in poverty during a difficult economic time. The theme is essential to understanding that folks who are financially struggling may be people who are trying to take care of their families. It is heartbreaking and eye-opening at the same time, exhibiting both empathy and understanding.
There are too many to pick just one! Anything by William Faulkner, but most definitely The Sound and the Fury. I’d also put on the list J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye; Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure; Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment; Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude; Flannery O’Connor’s Wide Blood; and Alice Walker’s The Color Purple. I could go on and on!