It occurs to me that neither in 2012 nor over the last few years have I read much American literature. For the first two years of college I thought I was going to be an English major in addition to Film, focusing in particular on British and Irish literature, so I did not spend an inordinate amount of time on works written by American writers. Here and there I came across an interesting/obscure writer or two, like Sara Vogan (Scenes from the Homefront, 1987) and David Bowman (Let the Dog Drive, 1992), but otherwise I spent two years reading Wilkie Collins, Elizabeth Gaskell, Oscar Wilde, George Gissing, E.M. Forster, Ford Madox Ford, James Joyce, Rebecca West, Virginia Woolf, Elizabeth Bowen and, taking up a nice portion of last summer, Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy.
In 2013 I am going to spend more time reading the writers of my own country. I suppose I have always been drawn to literature from other countries that I long to visit, but there are many American writers whose works I feel I should have read by now. With the tentative title “Adventures in American Literature,” I shall blog about each reading experience I have. Names like Erskine Caldwell, Dorothy Baker, Eudora Welty, Jean Stafford, Walker Percy, Ellen Douglas, Elaine Dundy, Truman Capote, Flannery O’Connor, Harper Lee, Richard Yates, Speed Lamkin, Frederick Exley, Stanley Elkin, Doris Betts, Carlene Hatcher Polite, John Kennedy Toole, Lewis Nordan, Susan Fromberg Schaeffer, Gustav Hasford, Gayl Jones and Larry Brown have chances of popping up.