Several landmark projects come to fruition this fall, as Library of America continues to expand and enrich our celebration of America’s best and most significant writing. A major new anthology of African American poetry, the biggest and most representative ever published, will anchor a nationwide programming initiative involving public events in all fifty states. Another anthology will commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower landing in all its cross-cultural complexity. Ernest Hemingway makes his long-awaited series debut, while we delve further into the groundbreaking work of Shirley Jackson and Ursula K. Le Guin. A new collection returns Breece D’J Pancake, a tragically short-lived master of the short story, to the public eye. And, just in time for the 2020 presidential election, journalist and bestselling author Nicholas Lehmann checks in with a handy gathering of key historical texts that illuminate the most urgent questions confronting our democracy today.
Refer to the list below for details about contents and publication dates for these and other titles; scroll further down the page for a fuller description of each new book.
LIBRARY OF AMERICA SERIES
African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle and Song
Kevin Young, editor
Library of America #333 / ISBN 978-159853-666-9
The Sun Also Rises & Other Writings 1918–1926
Robert W. Trogdon, editor
Library of America #334 / ISBN 978-159853-667-6
Ursula K. Le Guin
Annals of the Western Shore
Gifts • Voices • Powers
Brian Attebery, editor
Library of America #335 / ISBN 978-159853-668-3
Four Novels of the 1940s & 50s
The Road Through the Wall • Hangsaman • The Bird’s Nest • The Sundial
Ruth Franklin, editor
Library of America #336 / ISBN 978-159853-670-6
Plymouth Colony: Narratives of English-Indian Encounter from the Mayflower to King Philip’s War
Lisa Brooks and Kelly Wisecup, editors
Library of America #337 / ISBN 978-159853-673-7
The Collected Breece D’J Pancake: Stories, Fragments, Letters
Edited and introduced by Jayne Anne Phillips
American Democracy: 21 Historic Answers to 5 Urgent Questions
Nicholas Lemann, editor
The Shirley Jackson Collection [2-vol boxed set]
Expertly selected by poet and scholar Kevin Young, African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle and Song reveals a glorious living tradition through a chorus of many brilliant voices, some familiar, others recently rescued from neglect. In its pages, an enslaved person like Phillis Wheatley confronts her legal status in verse and antebellum activist Frances Ellen Watkins Harper voices her passionate resistance to slavery. Nuanced, provocative poetic meditations on identity and self-assertion stretch from Paul Laurence Dunbar to Amiri Baraka to Lucille Clifton and beyond, while the works of figures such as Langston Hughes, Fenton Johnson, and Jean Toomer transform poetic modernism. Movements such as the Harlem and Chicago Renaissances, Black Arts, Cave Canem, Dark Noise Collective are all given their due, as are the complex bonds of solidarity and dialogue among poets across time and place, including communities in the African Diaspora. The anthology’s concluding sections demonstrate why African American poetry, amply recognized in recent National Book Awards and Poet Laureates, is flourishing as never before. Taking the measure of the tradition in a single indispensable volume, African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle and Song sets a new standard for a genuinely deep engagement with Black poetry and its essential expression of African American genius.
For years, one of the most frequently asked questions by Library of America readers has been “Where’s Hemingway?” So it’s with special pleasure that we announce Ernest Hemingway: The Sun Also Rises & Other Writings 1918–1926, the inaugural volume in our long-anticipated multivolume Hemingway edition. Edited by Hemingway scholar Robert W. Trogdon, the book brings together work from the period when Hemingway set about creating one of the most influential prose styles of the twentieth century. It includes the indelible stories that comprise In Our Time (1925), the novella The Torrents of Spring (1925), and his first great novel, The Sun Also Rises (1926). This volume also gathers rare journalism from Hemingway’s stint as a reporter for The Toronto Star and Hearst International News Service (some of which hasn’t been seen in almost a century), the 1924 letterpress edition of the modernist classic in our time issued by Three Mountains Press, the unusual parody “A Divine Gesture” (never before collected in a book), and other works—all presented in authoritative, newly edited texts that correct errors and restore Hemingway’s original punctuation. Taken together, the writings in this volume offer an unparalleled look at Hemingway’s breakthrough years and an internationalist modernist moment that placed him at the center of an extraordinary group of expatriate writers and artists in Paris.
Ursula K. Le Guin: Annals of the Western Shore, the fifth volume in the Library of America’s definitive edition of Le Guin’s work, presents a trilogy of coming-of-age stories set in the Western Shore, a world where young people find themselves struggling not just against racism, prejudice, and slavery, but with mysterious and magical gifts. Collected here for the first time, these three novels—Gifts (2004), Voices (2006), and Powers (2007)—feature the generous voice and human concerns that mark all of Le Guin’s work, and together they form an elegant anthem to the revolutionary and transformative power of words and storytelling. The volume also includes Le Guin’s hard-to-find essays on the books as well as her hitherto-unseen hand-drawn maps of this vivid fictional world.
Ten years ago, Library of America’s Shirley Jackson: Novels and Stories helped cement Shirley Jackson’s reputation as one of the finest writers of the American gothic tradition, a true heir of Edgar Allan Poe and Henry James. Now, in Shirley Jackson: Four Novels of the 1940s & 50s, Jackson’s award-winning biographer Ruth Franklin collects the chilling, hypnotic, and arguably still underappreciated novels with which the author of “The Lottery,” The Haunting of Hill House, and We Have Always Lived in the Castle began her unique career. Jackson’s haunting debut, The Road Through the Wall (1948), explores the secret desires, petty hatreds, and ultimate terrors that lurk beneath a suburban California neighborhood. In Hangsaman (1951)––inspired by the real-life disappearance of a Bennington College sophomore––the precocious but lonely Natalie Waite grows increasingly dependent on an imaginary friend. The Bird’s Nest (1954) has not one but four protagonists: the shy, demure young Elizabeth and, shockingly, her other, multiple personalities. In what is perhaps her most unsettling novel, 1958’s The Sundial, Jackson follows the eccentric Halloran clan, who gather at the family manse for a funeral and become convinced that the world is about to end. (Shirley Jackson: Four Novels of the 1940s & 50s will also be paired with the earlier Novels and Stories in a handsome new boxed set.)
For centuries the story of the Pilgrims and the Mayflower has been told and retold—the landing at Plymouth Rock and the first Thanksgiving, and the decades that followed, as the colonists struggled to build an enduring and righteous community in the New World wilderness. But the place where the Plymouth colonists settled was no wilderness: it was Patuxet, in the ancestral homeland of the Wampanoag people, a long-inhabited region of fruitful and sustainable agriculture and well-traveled trade routes, a civilization with deep historical memories and cultural traditions. And while many Americans have sought comfort in the reassuring story of peaceful cross-cultural relations embodied in the myth of the first Thanksgiving, far fewer are aware of the complex history of diplomacy, exchange, and conflict between the Plymouth colonists and Native peoples. Now, published for the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the Mayflower, Plymouth Colony brings together for the first time fascinating first-hand narratives written by English settlers—Mourt’s Relation, the classic account of the colony’s first year; Governor William Bradford’s masterful Of Plimouth Plantation; Edward Winslow’s Good News from New England; the heterodox Thomas Morton’s irreverent challenge to Puritanism, New English Canaan; and Mary Rowlandson’s landmark “captivity narrative” The Sovereignty and Goodness of God—with a selection of carefully chosen documents (deeds, patents, letters, speeches) that illuminate the intricacies of Anglo-Native encounters, the complex role of Christian Indians, and the legacy of Massasoit, Weetamoo, Metacom (“King Philip”), and other Wampanoag leaders who faced the ongoing incursion into their lands by settlers from across the sea. The interactions of Plymouth Colony and the Wampanoag people culminated in the horrors of King Philip’s War, a conflict that may have killed seven percent of the total population, Anglo and Native, of New England and led to the end of Plymouth’s existence as a separate colony in 1692.
West Virginia native Breece D’J Pancake (1952–1979) had published only a handful of short stories when he took his own life at the age of twenty-six. Those stories and a small number of others found among his papers after his death comprise the remarkable posthumous collection The Stories of Breece D’J Pancake (1983), recognized at the time as “an American Dubliners” by Pancake’s fellow West Virginian Jayne Anne Phillips. At once beautiful and bleak, Pancake’s stories concern miners, truckers, farmers, waitresses, and others facing diminishing economic and life prospects. His characters are all stuck or waiting for a change in fortune they can neither relinquish nor quite bring themselves to believe in, the land and the past making equally strong claims on their imaginative lives. The Collected Breece D’J Pancake brings together the original landmark collection, several story drafts and fragments, a selection of Pancake’s letters, and a new foreword by Jayne Anne Phillips to form a volume will stand as a testament to the enduring legacy of a writer Margaret Atwood hailed as “an exceptional voice.”
American Democracy: 21 Historic Answers to 5 Urgent Questions, previously announced for summer 2020, will now go on sale in October. Click here for a preview of its contents.