Eliot's most famous work, Middlemarch, is a turning point in the history of the novel. Making masterful use of a counterpointed plot, Eliot presents the stories of a number of denizens of a small English town on the eve of the Reform Bill of 1832. The main characters, Dorothea Brooke and Tertius Lydg
Iris Murdoch's fiction has a way of exposing fears and insecurities; suspense and an impending sense of death drive the plots of many of her novels. Dark, uncontrollable forces are abroad in her world, and keep her readers shifting, looking over their shoulders, and counting the shadows on the wall.
In 1961, seven years after J.D. Salinger began his lifelong, self-imposed exile from public life, John Updike described the author as "a uniquely relevant literary artist." Whether Salinger thought Updike's statement was a compliment or a slight is irrelevant. Criticism, publicity, or praise -- Salin
Saul Bellow became one of the twentieth century's great novelists by following the dictum that is repeated to all young fiction writers: Write what you know. Beginning with his first novel, Bellow's voice spoke from the center of his life and times. "The Dangling Man" (1944) tells the story of a youn