This course considers a selection of essays, novels, poetry and short stories by great American authors in the twentieth century. The course will offer a survey of excellent literature by interpreting themes that are important to American culture and that will allow us to compare and contrast styles of writing and patterns of narrative development. The reading list will embrace the rich cultural, ethnic and racial diversity of the twentieth-century literary scene in the United States and the class discussion will pay careful attention to the social context in which these authors wrote and published their work. The reading list may include a manageable amount of reading chosen from important authors such as Henry James, Robert Frost, W.E.B. Dubois, F. William Faulkner, Allen Ginsberg, Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, and Toni Morrison.