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American writers want not to be good, but great and so are neither. (Gore Vidal)


Abish, Acker, Algren, Anderson, Auslander, Auster, Baker, Barnes, Barth, Donald Barthelme, Batchelor, Richard Bausch, Baxter, Beattie, Bell, Bellow, Bolton, Jane Bowles, Paul Bowles, Kay Boyle, T C Boyle, Brodkey, Burns, Burroughs, Caldwell, Calisher, Cantor, Cather, Chabon, Chopin, Coover, Creeley, Cunningham, Daitch, Danielewski, Dara, Kathryn Davis, De la Pava, DeLillo, Didion, Doctorow, Donleavy, Dos Passos, Douglas, Dreiser, Dufresne, Egan, Ellmann, Eyster, Farrell, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Franzen, Frazier, Gaddis, Garrett, Gass, Gautreaux, Glasgow, Gordon, Guterson, Hannah, Harbach, Haslett, Hawkes, Heller, Hemingway, Homes, Humes, Denis Johnson, Jones Pearson, William Kennedy, Kerouac, Kesey, Kleeman, Kosinski, Krauss, Kunkel, Langley, Larsen, Lethem, Leyner, Littell, Lurie, Lytle, Mailer, Malamud, Marius, Markovits, Markson, Marlantes, Cormac McCarthy, Mary McCarthy, McCullers, McElroy, McGuane, McMahon, Meyer, Sue Miller, Minot, Lorrie Moore, C. E. Morgan, Wright Morris, Morrow, Nabokov, Nordan, Oates, O’Brien, O’Connor, Ozeki, Packer, Patchett, Percy, Phillips, Plath, Dawn Powell, Powers, Proulx, Purdy, Pynchon, Robinson, Philip Roth, Rush, Russo, Salinger, Salter, Savage, Schneck, Scott, Sinclair, Sontag, Stafford, Stein, Stone, Styron, Tartt, Tate, Toole, Tyler, Updike, Vliet, Vollmann, Wallace, Waters, Wayne, Weaver, Weesner, Welty, West, Wharton, Whittemore, John Williams, Wolfe, Austin Tappan Wright, Wurlitzer, Yates


Baldwin, Bambara, Durham, Ellison, Forrest, Hurston, Kelley, Morrison, Michael Thomas, Toomer, Walker, Whitehead, Richard Wright

Native American

Alexie, Dorris, Gunn, Momaday, Silko

See also:


Other links

68 Best US novels
Modern US literature chronological order
American Literature
American Authors
Masters of American literature
A Reader’s Manifesto (An attack on the growing pretentiousness of American literary prose)
MLA Rankings of American Writers
The 100 Greatest American Novels, 1893 – 1993
100 Best American Novels, 1770–1985
List, List, O List! (response to above)
Outline of Literature – Modernism and Experimentation: 1914-1945
American Prose Since 1945: Realism and Experimentation
The Best American Novels of the Twentieth Century Still Readable Today
What Is the Best Work of American Fiction of the Last 25 Years?
The 100 Greatest American Novels, 1894 – 1994
Response to above
Another response to above
American Classics
278 American literary works of the 20th century (Excerpted from The Western Canon by Harold Bloom)
Literature (in English) (links)
Modern (Brit. & Amer.) (links)
Contemporary (Brit. & Amer.) (links)
Linda Wagner-Martin’s top 10 jazz age books
The Insularity of American Literature
Esi Edugyan’s top 10 tales of Americans in Europe
100 Great American Novels You’ve (Probably) Never Read
Granta’s 20 best American Young Novelists (1996)
Granta’s 20 best American Young Novelists 2 (2007)
Granta’s list of the best young American novelists (2017)
Surfing Tomorrow – A Checklist for the Future of American Fiction
The Washington Post’s Jonathan Yardley eleven best American novels
The Best in the West Top 100 Fiction
Coming to America: 50 Greatest Works of Immigration Literature
The Women Who Shaped the Past 100 Years of American Literature

Southern US literature

Southern literature
Library of Southern literature
Serious Southern Fiction
The Best Southern Novels of All Time
Oxford American: The Best Southern Novels of All Time (a longer list than the one above)
A Southern List: 125 Great Southern Books
Glenn Taylor’s top 10 books of the American South
The 50 Best Southern Novels Ever Written

Native American literature

Index of Native American Book Resources on the Internet
Storytellers Native American Authors Online
Native American Authors
Native American Literature–selected bibliography
Native American Literature
Early Native American Literature
Indigenous People’s Literature
Novels by Native Americans
Fiction by & about Native American
Top Ten American Indian Novels
Native American Mysteries

African-American writers

African American Literature
African American Literature Book Club
African American Literature Book Club 50 best authors
African-American Interest
African/american Authors
Contemporary Black American Authors
Recent Fiction by African-American Authors
The Fat African American Library (recommended books by category – humor, mystery, science fiction, historical fiction, miscellaneous fiction)
Does African-American Literature Exist?
Voices From the Gaps Women Writers of Color
African-American Women Writers of the 19th century (digitized texts)
Harlem Renaissance Women
A Celebration of Women Writers – African American Writers
African American Women Writers
African American Female Authors
Black Female Authors
100 greatest books ever written by African American women
he 50 Most Impactful Black Books Of The Last 50 Years (mainly US writers)

Asian-American writers

Asian American Literature
32 Essential Asian-American Writers You Need To Be Reading
“There aren’t a lot of you out there”: What? Let’s fix our female Asian-American writer blind spot now

Hispanic-American writers

Hispanic American Literature: Divergence and Commonality
Latino Fiction & The Modernist Imagination (covers mainly Latino works written in US but also Latin American)

Jewish-American writers

American Jewish fiction, 1892-1972
The Voice Is Jacob’s Voice
Jewish-American Literature