Today at work I had to compile a further reading list which included a section on American Fiction - by American authors, about America or American people. I had to include some ethnicky literature and was trying to avoid including texts that were commonly taught at school level (which was hampered rather by the fact that I didn't go to an American school).
Alexie, Sherman. The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. New York: Grove Press, 2005.
Baldwin, James. Go Tell It on the Mountain. New York: Penguin Classics, 2001.
Carver, Raymond. Where I'm Calling From: The Selected Stories. New York: Vintage, 1989.
Doctorow, E L. The Book of Daniel. New York: Random House, 2007.
Ellison, Ralph. Invisible Man. New York: Vintage, 1995
Faulkner, William. Light in August. New York: Vintage, 1991.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner, 1999.
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. Young Goodman Brown and Other Tales. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.
Heller, Joseph. Catch-22. New York. Simon & Schuster, 1996.
James, Henry. Washington Square. New York: Penguin Classics, 2007.
Kerouac, Jack. On the Road. New York: Penguin Classics, 2003.
Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. New York: Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2002.
Miller, Arthur. The Crucible. New York: Penguin Classics, 2003.
Melville, Herman. Moby-Dick. New York: Penguin Classics, 2002.
Sallinger, J.D. The Catcher in the Rye. New York: Penguin books, 1994.
Steinbeck, John. The Grapes of Wrath. New York: Penguin, 2002.
Vonnegut, Kurt. Slaughterhouse-Five. New York: Dial Press, 1999.
With the exception of The Crucible and The Grapes of Wrath — Which were put in on the suggestion of others — these books are all from my bookshelves. I'm putting it up here because I know you're a fairly literate lot so feel free to add anything glaring I've missed out, or just mock me for my choices if you want.
Oh, and Another thing. I know that this will mean nothing at all to you, but I'm just going to say it anyway. The London Mayoral candidate most likely to get my vote in the next few weeks will be the first one to stand up and say this:
"Contrary to what my speeches have so far suggested, I am actually aware of the existence of London Boroughs south of the River Thames"
Seriously, that's all.