Edgar Allan Poe was one of the first professional American writers. He is celebrated as the father of the detective story, a major horror writer and poet. His life was as bleak (ponurý, drsný, smutný) and dramatic as some of his works.
The Raven (1845) – his most famous poem (on a stormy night a tired and unhappy young man, who has lost his love, asks the raven if he will ever meet her again. His doubts and despair are underlined by the raven’s repetition of the phrase „Nevermore“.)
Robinson Crusoe (1719) was his first book and it quickly became very popular. It is based on the adventures of a Scottish sailor, Alexander Selkirk, who spent over 4 years on a deserted island.
After WWI a group of writers known as The Lost Generation emerged. Those were writers influenced by WWI. After they came back home, they were unable to settle down, to forget their war experiences.
They describe the feelings of disillusionment caused by the war, sense of loss of their identity and their mistrust towards society.
Ernest Hemingway – a novelist, short-story writer, the best-known author of the Lost Generation.
In 1954 he received a Nobel Prize for literature for his novel The Old Man and the Sea.
In WWI he worked as a Red Cross driver, he was badly injured.
In 1961 he committed suicide (most likely).
A Farewell to Arms
For whom the Bell Tolls
Francis Scott Fitzgerald – his most famous book is The Great Gatsby – a love story between Jay Gatsby and Daisy. Daisy is a picture of Fitzgerald´s real wife, Zelda. The book describes people following the American dream (to become rich and thus successful in society)
Animal Farm (1945) – an animal fable satirizing the revolutionary movement in the former USSR
Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) – a portrait of a totalitarian society. The world is divided among three constantly warring superpowers. Only military and police techniques are developed – science, culture and other aspects of human life are at a standstill. People are divided into three castes. Rebellion against this lifestyle leads to torture, brainwashing, and finally to the betrayal of one´s own values.