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The Library of America

Found in Literary Collections
John Quincy Adams: Diaries 1779-1821 by John Quincy Adams / David Waldstreicher, editor
Latest in the Series

John Quincy Adams: Diaries 1779-1821

Book 293
Hardcover $37.5

The Library of America : Titles in Order

Book 308
Library of America presents a definitive collection of classic Westerns by America’s master modern crime writer

One of the great storytellers of our time, Elmore Leonard perfected his craft writing Westerns, a genre he loved. These tales–some adapted into such outstanding films as Hombre, Valdez Is Coming, and 3:10 to Yuma–are unexcelled for their wiry tautness, sharp characterizations, and jolts of unexpected humor. For sheer stripped-down narrative tension Leonard never did anything better, and the fresh twists he finds in resolving the genre’s classic confrontations reveal a master at work. Whether describing a Civil War veteran coming back to find his homestead stolen (Last Stand at Saber River), a man raised by Apaches treated with contempt by the white settlers who will ultimately depend on him for their survival (Hombre), a local constable, tricked into killing an innocent man, fighting back against the powerful man who duped him (Valdez Is Coming), or two convicts in a desert prison–one African American and the other half-Apache–plotting a near-impossible escape (Forty Lashes Less One), Leonard’s westerns are tough, suspenseful, convincing, and beautifully spare in style.
Book 307
The book that sparked the modern environmental movement, with an unprecedented collection of letters, speeches, and other writings that reveal the extraordinary courage and vision of its author

This deluxe Library of America volume presents one of the landmark books of the twentieth century together with rare letters, speeches, and other writings that reveal the personal courage and passionate commitment of its author, Rachel Carson. A huge bestseller when published in September 1962, Silent Spring led not only to many of the laws and government agencies that protect our air, land, and water, but prompted a revolution in environmental consciousness. Now for the first time, in previously unpublished and newly collected letters to biochemists, ecologists, cancer specialists, ornithologists, and other experts, Carson’s groundbreaking expose of the unintended consequences of pesticide use comes together piece-by-piece, like a puzzle or detective story. She makes common cause with conservationists and other allies to build public awareness, hiding her private battle with cancer for fear it might distract from her message. And in the wake of her book’s astonishing impact, as she becomes the target of an organized campaign of disinformation by the chemical industry, Carson speaks out in defense of her findings while remaining a model of grace under pressure. Throughout the collection, Carson’s lifelong love of nature shines through. In writings both lyrical and intensely moving, she conveys her “sense of wonder” to her young nephew, dreams of conserving old-growth forest in Maine for posterity, and recounts her adventures and epiphanies as birdwatcher and beachcomber.
Book 306
Politics, war, sex, boxing, and the art of writing: an era’s most controversial writer at his slashing and provocative best

The electric and fearless essays of Norman Mailer were essential to the intellectual climate of 1960s America. Here, gathered into one volume for the first time by acclaimed Mailer biographer J. Michael Lennon, are all the essential essays from the classic collections The Presidential Papers (1963), Cannibals and Christians (1966), and Existential Errands (1972), each a fascinating window on one of the most extraordinary and tumultuous decades in the nation’s history. A self-appointed exorcist of the culture’s demons and an unrestrained mythologizer of his own identity, Mailer contemplated and often skewered icons of politics and literature, charted psychosexual undercurrents and covert power plays, and gloried in the exercise of a pugnacious prose style that was all his own. Whether writing about Jackie Kennedy or Sonny Liston, the realist tradition in America or the internal culture wars of the Republican Party, the death of Ernest Hemingway or the battle against censorship, Mailer was always ready to intervene in what he called “the years of the plague.”
Book 305
Four Mailer classics in one volume for the first time, books that crackle with the creative energy and raw passions of America’s most turbulent decade

No writer plunged more wholeheartedly into the chaotic energies of the 1960s than Norman Mailer, as he fearlessly revolutionized literary norms and genres to capture the political, social, and sexual explosions of an unsettled era. Here, for the first time in one volume, are his unforgettable books of the 1960s: two disruptive and visionary novels, and two radically innovative journalistic masterpieces. War hero, television star, existential hipster, seducer, murderer: such is the protagonist of An American Dream, Mailer’s hallucinatory voyage through the dark night of an America awash in money, sex, and violence. In Why Are We in Vietnam? a motor-mouthed 18-year-old Texan on the eve of military service recounts with manic and obscene exuberance a grizzly bear hunt in Alaska that exposes the macho roots of the war. The acclaimed “non-fiction novel” The Armies of the Night (winner of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award) and its follow-up Miami and the Siege of Chicago are on-the-scene, in-the-scene accounts of an antiwar march on the Pentagon and the party conventions of 1968, as Mailer casts himself as a player in the drama he reports, bringing a sharp and merciless eye on the decade’s political upheavals.
Book 304
Complete in one volume for the first time, the joyous, jazz-saturated fiction of one of our foremost African American writers, including the four-novel Scooter sequence

One of the leading cultural critics of his generation, Albert Murray was also the author of an extraordinary quartet of semi-autobiographical novels, vivid impressionistic portraits of black life in the Deep South in the 1920s and ’30s and in prewar New York City. Train Whistle Guitar (1974) introduces Murray’s recurring narrator and protagonist, Scooter, a “Southern jackrabbit raised in a briarpatch” too nimble ever to receive a scratch. Scooter’s education in books, music, and the blue-steel bent-note blues-ballad realities of American life continues in The Spyglass Tree (1991), Murray’s “Portrait of the Artist as a Tuskegee Undergraduate.” The Seven League Boots (1996) follows Scooter as he becomes a bass player in a touring band not unlike Duke Ellington’s, and The Magic Keys (2005), in which Scooter at last finds his true vocation as a writer in Greenwich Village, is an elegaic reverie on an artist’s life. Editors Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Paul Devlin round out the volume with a selection of Murray’s remarkable poems, including 11 unpublished pieces from his notebooks, and two rare examples of his work as a short story writer.
Book 303
The violent aftermath of the Civil War comes to dramatic life in this sweeping new collection of firsthand writing

There are few periods in American history more consquential but less understood than Reconstruction, the tumultuous twelve years after Appomattox, when the battered nation sought to reconstitute itself and confront the legacy of two centuries of slavery. This Library of America anthology brings together more than one hundred contemporary letters, diary entries, interviews, petitions, testimonies, and newspaper and magazine articles by well-known figures–Frederick Douglass, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Andrew Johnson, Thaddeus Stevens, Ulysses S. Grant, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Mark Twain, Albion Tourgée–as well as by dozens of ordinary men and women, black and white, northern and southern, to tell the story of our nation’s first attempt to achieve racial equality. Through their eyes readers experience the fierce contest between President Andrew Johnson and the Radical Republicans resulting in the nation’s first presidential impeachment; the adoption of the revolutionary Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments; the first achievements of black political power; and the murderous terrorism of the Klan and other groups that, combined with northern weariness, indifference, and hostility, eventually resulted in the restoration of white supremacy in the South. Throughout, Americans confront the essential questions left unresolved by the defeat of secession: What system of labor would replace slavery, and what would become of the southern plantations? Would the war end in the restoration of a union of sovereign states, or in the creation of a truly national government? What would citizenship mean after emancipation, and what civil rights would the freed people gain? Would suffrage be extended to African American men, and to all women?
Book 302
Library of America inaugurates its edition of the complete fiction of one of America’s most beloved living writers

Port William, Kentucky, is one of the most fully realized settings in American literature. For more than fifty years, in novels and stories that combine a Faulknerian sense of place with the wry characterization of Mark Twain, Wendell Berry has told its history from the Civil War to the present day. This agrarian world is populated with memorable characters collectively known as the Port William Membership, women and men whose stories evoke a time when farming, faith, and family were the anchors of community and the ligaments that bound generation to generation. Now, for the first time, in an edition prepared in consultation with the author, Library of America is presenting the complete story of Port William in the order of narrative chronology. This first volume contains twenty-three stories and four novels that span from 1864 to 1945, as a town that sees itself as rooted in its past faces the forces of mechanization and the looming possibility of its own disappearance. Throughout, the stories that Port William tells of itself, repeated between friends and among fellow workers, turn wit and gossip into proverbial wisdom. All the stories reveal the ways that ordinary men and women strive to achieve right relationship with themselves, with Creator and Creation, through small acts that combine, over time, to foster a sustainable community imbued with hope and wonder.
Book 301
The second volume of Library of America’s definitive edition of America’s foremost living poet, including the modern classic Flow Chart in a newly corrected text.

To celebrate his ninetieth birthday, Library of America presents the second volume of John Ashbery’s collected poems, spanning a crucial and prolific decade in the poet’s work. The volume opens with the indispensable Flow Chart (1991), in a complete text for the first time. The other collections gathered here—Hotel Lautréamont (1992), And the Stars Were Shining (1994), Can You Hear, Bird (1995), Wakefulness (1998), and Your Name Here (2000)—show Ashbery perfecting the playful, cerebral style that has made his poetry a genre unto itself, highly influential and often imitated. Long an art critic and one of the shrewdest observers of the American art scene, Ashbery engages with the renowned outsider artist Henry Darger in the fascinating book-length poem Girls on the Run (1999), inspired by the exuberant, unsettling fictional universe Darger created. The volume concludes with a selection of twenty-six previously uncollected poems.
Book 300
America’s most celebrated writer returns with a definitive edition of his essential statements on literature, his controversial novels, and the writing life, including including six pieces published here for the first time and many others newly revised.

Throughout a unparalleled literary career that includes two National Book Awards (Goodbye, Columbus, 1959 and Sabbath’s Theater, 1995), the Pulitzer Prize in fiction (American Pastoral, 1997), the National Book Critics Circle Award (The Counterlife, 1986), and the National Humanities Medal (awarded by President Obama in 2011), among many other honors, Philip Roth has produced an extraordinary body of nonfiction writing on a wide range of topics: his own work and that of the writers he admires, the creative process, and the state of American culture. This work is collected for the first time in Why Write?, the tenth and final volume in the Library of America’s definitive Philip Roth edition. Here is Roth’s selection of the indispensable core of Reading Myself and Others, the entirety of the 2001 book Shop Talk, and “Explanations,” a collection of fourteen later pieces brought together here for the first time, six never before published. Among the essays gathered are “My Uchronia,” an account of the genesis of The Plot Against America, a novel grounded in the insight that “all the assurances are provisional, even here in a two-hundred-year-old democracy”; “Errata,” the unabridged version of the “Open Letter to Wikipedia” published on The New Yorker’s website in 2012 to counter the online encyclopedia’s egregious errors about his life and work; and “The Ruthless Intimacy of Fiction,” a speech delivered on the occasion of his eightieth birthday that celebrates the “refractory way of living” of Sabbath’s Theater’s Mickey Sabbath. Also included are two lengthy interviews given after Roth’s retirement, which take stock of a lifetime of work.
Book 299
For the first time, the complete stories of the master chronicler of tradition and transformation in the twentieth-century South.

Born and raised in Tennessee, Peter Taylor was the great chronicler of the American Upper South, capturing its gossip and secrets, its divided loyalties and morally complicated legacies in tales of pure-distilled brilliance. Now, for his centennial year, the Library of America and acclaimed short story writer Ann Beattie present an unprecedented two-volume edition of Taylor’s complete short fiction, all fifty-nine of the stories published in his lifetime in the order in which they were composed. 

This second volume presents thirty stories including many of his most ambitious works, among them “Dean of Men,” a monologue delivered by a middle-aged father to his long-haired son about the limits of idealism; “In the Miro District,” a parable of the Old South’s enduring persistence in the New; and “The Old Forest,” one of Taylor’s most celebrated works, the story of a young man who jeopardizes his
impending marriage by consorting with a girl deemed beneath his station. Here too are all five of Taylor’s remarkable prose poems, stories in free verse that demonstrate that great fiction is, at its highest pitch, a line-by-line, image-by-image high-wire act. Two of the stories in this volume, “A Cheerful Disposition” and “The Megalopolitans,” are collected here for the first time.
Book 299
For the first time, the complete stories of the master chronicler of tradition and transformation in the twentieth-century South.

Born and raised in Tennessee, Peter Taylor was the great chronicler of the American Upper South, capturing its gossip and secrets, its divided loyalties and morally complicated legacies in tales of pure-distilled brilliance. Now, for his centennial year, the Library of America and acclaimed short story writer Ann Beattie present an unprecedented two-volume edition of Taylor’s complete short fiction, all fifty-nine of the stories published in his lifetime in the order in which they were composed. 

This second volume presents thirty stories including many of his most ambitious works, among them “Dean of Men,” a monologue delivered by a middle-aged father to his long-haired son about the limits of idealism; “In the Miro District,” a parable of the Old South’s enduring persistence in the New; and “The Old Forest,” one of Taylor’s most celebrated works, the story of a young man who jeopardizes his
impending marriage by consorting with a girl deemed beneath his station. Here too are all five of Taylor’s remarkable prose poems, stories in free verse that demonstrate that great fiction is, at its highest pitch, a line-by-line, image-by-image high-wire act. Two of the stories in this volume, “A Cheerful Disposition” and “The Megalopolitans,” are collected here for the first time.
Book 298
For the first time, the complete stories of the master chronicler of tradition and transformation in the twentieth-century South.

Born and raised in Tennessee, Peter Taylor was the great chronicler of the American Upper South, capturing its gossip and secrets, its divided loyalties and morally complicated legacies in tales of pure-distilled brilliance. Now, for his centennial year, the Library of America and acclaimed short story writer Ann Beattie present an unprecedented two-volume edition of Taylor’s complete short fiction, all fifty-nine of the stories published in his lifetime in the order in which they were composed.

This first volume offers twenty-nine early masterpieces, including such classics as “A Spinster’s Tale,” “What You Hear from ’Em?,” “Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time” and “Miss Leonora When Last Seen.” As a special feature, an appendix in the first volume gathers three stories Taylor published as an undergraduate that show the early emergence of his singular style and sensibility.
Book 298
For the first time, the complete stories of the master chronicler of tradition and transformation in the twentieth-century South.

Born and raised in Tennessee, Peter Taylor was the great chronicler of the American Upper South, capturing its gossip and secrets, its divided loyalties and morally complicated legacies in tales of pure-distilled brilliance. Now, for his centennial year, the Library of America and acclaimed short story writer Ann Beattie present an unprecedented two-volume edition of Taylor’s complete short fiction, all fifty-nine of the stories published in his lifetime in the order in which they were composed.

This first volume offers twenty-nine early masterpieces, including such classics as “A Spinster’s Tale,” “What You Hear from ’Em?,” “Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time” and “Miss Leonora When Last Seen.” As a special feature, an appendix in the first volume gathers three stories Taylor published as an undergraduate that show the early emergence of his singular style and sensibility.
Book 297
The star-spanning story of humanity’s colonization of other planets, Ursula K. Le Guin’s visionary Hainish novels and stories redrew the map of modern science fiction, making it a rich field for literary explorations of “the nature of human nature,” as Margaret Atwood has described Le Guin’s subject. Now, for the first time, the complete Hainish novels and stories are collected in a definitive two-volume Library of America edition, with new introductions by the author. This second volume in a definitive two-volume edition gathers Le Guin’s final two Hainish novels, The Word for World Is Forest, in which Earth enslaves another planet to strip its natural resources, and The Telling, the harrowing story of a society which has suppressed its own cultural heritage. Rounding out the volume are seven short stories and the story suite Five Ways to Forgiveness, published here in full for the first time. The endpapers feature a full-color chart of the known worlds of Hainish descent.
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