In A Moveable Feast, Hemingway’s posthumous autobiography, Gertrude Stein is credited with describing the post Great War writers as part of a “Lost Generation.” Most of these are Americans expats living in Paris. The period in between the two world wars best cover what is known as Modernism, although it also shows us Fauvism, Dadaism, and Surrealism. These are my favorite works of Modern American literature.
10 USA Trilogy, a set of three novels by John Dos Passos (1938). Thought to be too political, even preachy (unless you’re a Socialist).
9 “Many Marriages”, a play by Sherwood Anderson (1923). Rarely performed, if ever, but Fitzgerald said it was Anderson’s best work.
8 “HIM”, a play by e.e. cummings (1927). Long before Seinfeld, here’s a play about nothing, just not as funny.
7 The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, a novel by Gertrude Stein (1933). Written as an autobiography, but only because the narrator of this fiction was well known to Stein.
6 “Atlantis”, a poem by Hart Crane (1930). The bridge is a metaphor for a metaphor, if that helps.
5 “Ars Poetica” a poem by Archibald Macleish (1926). There have been many, but this is still the capitol example of the art of poetry.
4 “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”, a poem by T.S. Eliot (1915). The most unmanly man is poetry.
3 The Sun Also Rises, a novel by Ernest Hemingway (1926). An impotent man falls in love with a nymphomaniac. What could go wrong?
2 The Great Gatsby, a novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925). You can’t turn back the clock.
1 Ulysses, a novel by James Joyce (1922). A father finds a son, and a on finds a father.
I’m not saying that these are the best, just that they are my favorites. What are your favorite works of Lost Generation literature? Are there any Modern American writers I left off? Make your own list or Comment about who you would change the list.