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Articles on American literature

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‘Moby-Dick’ inspired the Warner Brothers film starring Gregory Peck as Captain Ahab – and perhaps can inspire readers today amid the climate crisis. Fox Photos/Hulton Archive via Getty Images

The lessons ‘Moby-Dick’ has for a warming world of rising waters

Melville’s epic novel about life aboard a wayward whaling ship holds lessons for the climate crisis today.
Robert Redford played the golden Gatsby in 1974. IMDB

Guide to the classics: The Great Gatsby

Status anxiety and conspicuous consumption generate a dazzling, often surreal poetry in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. But Gatsby’s rise and fall exposes deep fissures underlying the American Dream.
Poet Walt Whitman in his home in New Jersey in 1891. Born 200 years ago this week, Whitman is celebrated in America for his daring poetry collection Leaves of Grass. Samuel Murray/Wikimedia Commons

Guide to the classics: Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass and the complex life of the ‘poet of America’

Walt Whitman is perhaps America’s most admired poet. His work, now praised for its themes of equality and democracy, was once shunned for its experimental verse and discussion of sexuality.
Many authors born in Latin America have produced some of their finest work while living in the United States. Alvy Libros/flickr

5 Latino authors you should be reading now

Spanish-speaking writers have made exceptional contributions to American literature. Here are the best Latin American and Latino authors you probably haven’t heard of.
Twain was an opinionated, prolific commentator on the personalities and political issues of his day. Terry Ballard/flickr

What would Mark Twain think of Donald Trump?

He probably would have been amused by – and maybe even befriended – Trump the entertainer. Trump the president? Not so much.

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