What Do I Read Next?
Eudora Welty’s Pulitzer Prize–winning novel The Optimist’s Daughter (1972) explores the bonds between a mother and daughter as re- flected upon by the daughter after the mother’s death.
Flannery O’Connor’s collection A Good Man Is Hard to Find (1955) presents vivid characters who occupy the mid-1950s American South. Several of these stories are considered masterpieces of the short story form.
Alice Munro’s story ‘‘Boys and Girls’’ in the collection Dance of the Happy Shades (1968) also features the Jordan family. It takes place on the fox farm and centers around the narrator’s (Del Jordan’s) realization of gender differences and the boundaries they impose.
John Steinbeck’s novel The Grapes of Wrath (1939) is set in the United States during the Great Depression. It traces the migration of the Joad family as they move from their farm in the Oklahoma Dust Bowl to California. A Pulitzer Prize winner, this novel did much to publicize the injustices of migrant labor in the West.
Anna Quindlen’s novel Object Lessons (1992) is a coming-of-age story told from the point of view of a teenage girl living in a northeastern suburb of New York City.
Carson McCullers’ novel The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (1940) explores the inner lives of five lonely people living in a Georgia mill town in the 1930s. The main characters are all outcast by their society because of race, politics, disability, or sensibility. It is considered the author’s finest work.
Margaret Atwood’s historical novel Alias Grace (1996) centers on the murder of a farm family in nineteenth-century Canada. The novel is set in the same Scotch-Irish setting in which Munro grew up and in which so many of her stories take place.