Hidden Gems Celebrated for Readers

University of Vermont Associate Library Professor Karl Bridges’ 100 Great American Novels You’ve (Probably) Never Read was recently published by Libraries Unlimited. Intended as a resource for both libraries and general readers, Bridges’ work features novels written between 1797 and 1997 by a diverse set of authors such as Francine Prose, Chester Himes, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and Horatio Alger. More…

The book was written during Karl Bridges six-month sabbatical from the University of Vermont’s Bailey/Howe Library, where he works in the Department of Information and Instruction. “What really impressed me as I developed this book was the breadth and depth of American writing and reading culture,” Bridges writes in his preface. “I routinely haunted bookstores in a variety of cities. I was never in a bookstore, independent or chain, that was not packed with people—all enjoying themselves immensely. The people who go on and on about the death of reading are wrong.” The 100 featured novels were chosen for their ability to represent the breadth of American writing. Some entries will introduce readers to obscure authors; others will acquaint them with lesser-known works of prominent writers. For each selection, Bridges provides a brief extract, a synopsis, a biographical sketch of the writer, a list of selected works by the writer, and recommendations for further reading.

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