I check out The Daily Beast mostly for political and national news commentary, but until recently I hadn’t paid any attention to the fact that they write about books. There’s a clickable tab at the top of their main page, or you can just click here to take a look. They’ve recently announced that author Nathan Rich (The Mayor’s Tongue) is writing a monthly series there called American Dreams: The 20th Century in Novels.
This monthly series will chronicle the history of the American century as seen through the eyes of its novelists. The goal is to create a literary anatomy of the last century—or, to be precise, from 1900 to 2012. In each column I’ll write about a single novel and the year it was published. The novel may not be the best-selling book of the year, the most praised, or the most highly awarded—though awards do have a way of fixing an age’s conventional wisdom in aspic. The idea is to choose a novel that, looking back from a safe distance, seems most accurately, and eloquently, to speak for the time in which it was written. Other than that there are few rules. I won’t pick any stinkers. — Nathan Rich
Sounds like fun. I’ll be reading.
By the way, the first book Rich will be writing about is Brewster’s Millions, written in 1903 by George Barr McCutchen. I just added it to my reading queue.