American Graffiti

Posted on January 1, 2016 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: Comments Off on American Graffiti

Happy New Year!

LibriVox is 10 years old, and this year we’ll highlight our contributions to literature from all over the world. Let’s start with 10 gems from our catalog devoted to American authors.

When Emerson felt the need to find a uniquely American poet, Walt Whitman stepped up to the challenge, and devoted his life to Leaves of Grass. First published in 1855, the collection grew from 12 to 400 poems in the Deathbed Edition of 1892.

Equally famous and prolific was Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery. She published more than 350 short stories and 20 novels; the most famous one being Anne of Green Gables. The spunky heroine has inspired our readers to no less than 7 versions, this is our dramatic reading.

A lot of drama can be found in the books by Anna Katharine Green, one of the first writers of detective fiction in America, rivaling even Conan Doyle. Of her 40 highly acclaimed books, That Affair Next Door introduces nosy spinster sleuth Miss Emilia Butterworth.

Two elderly spinsters play a supporting role in the love story between Rodolfo and Angelina. The book was written by Rafael Delgado, a Mexican poet and novelist from Cordoba, who became a member of the Mexican Academy of Letters when he was in his early 40s.

Honoré Beaugrand fought in the Mexican Intervention before becoming a writer in the US, buying a newspaper in Ottawa, and finally being elected mayor of Montreal. His version of La Chasse-Galerie, a French-Canadian legend of an unwise deal with the devil, is the best known one.

Another politician boasted equally varied interests and achievements: The lifelong naturalist Theodore Roosevelt was the youngest US president at his election. His public addresses and essays are collected in The Strenuous Life.

Certainly so was the life of Charles Alexander Eastman, born as Ohiyesa. The Native American writer and reformer strove throughout his life for the rights of the American Natives and better opportunities for their youth. From the Deep Woods to Civilisation is the second part of his autobiography.

Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins writes from a similar point of view. She was once considered the most prolific female African American writer and a sought-after editor. Her first novel Contending Forces explores the difficulties of black people in post Civil War America.

Fitting to the above is The Unsolved Riddle of Social Justice. Although best known for his humorous pieces, The Canadian Stephen Leacock – the most widely read English speaking author 1910-1925 – held a doctorate in political science and political economy.

Gertrude Atherton a was strong willed and independent minded woman. Despite being ostracized by her family for becoming an author, she wrote more than 50 novels, mainly set in California. In The Avalanche, a once highly eligible bachelor resolves in his fourth year of marriage to unveil the mystery of his wife’s past.

Enjoy finding new American authors in our catalog!


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