Published in 1969, Slaughterhouse Five is a novel written in troubled times about troubled times. As the novel was being finished in 1968, America saw the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy. In the South, Blacks and their...

Ender's Game began as a short story that Orson Scott Card wrote because his repertory theater company was collecting debts and had to be shut down. "Ender's Game" first appeared in Analog, a leading science fiction magazine, in August 1977. Card...

Manhattan Transfer is a seminal American novel, and yet it is not widely read. John Dos Passos is perenially overlooked in the literary canon in favor of his contemporaries Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Dos Passos was friends with...

Kafka wrote The Metamorphosis in 1912, the year he felt his creativity finally taking a definite form. It was one of fairly few works Kafka was to publish in his lifetime. In 1913 he turned down an offer to publish the story, possibly because he...

Ernest Hemingway wrote In Our Time in 1925, and its critical acclaim established him as a literary force. Critics currently argue over whether it should be considered a novel or merely a compilation of short stories and vignettes. In fact it has...

In the summer of 1893, Oscar Wilde began writing An Ideal Husband, and he completed it later that winter. At this point in his career he was accustomed to success, and in writing An Ideal Husband he wanted to ensure himself public fame. His work...

First published in 1946, All the King's Men was directly influenced by Robert Penn Warren's firsthand experiences with fascism in Benito Mussolini's Italy and radical populism in governor Huey P. Long's Louisiana.

In 1934, in the middle of the...

When the young playwright Arthur Miller began writing All My Sons, he was embarking on a project that would be either the beginning or the end of his career. His first and only play to be produced on Broadway, The Man Who Had All the Luck, was an...

Though the precise origins of Aristotle's Poetics are not known, researchers believe that the work was composed around 330 BCE and was preserved primarily through Aristotle's students' notes. Despite its vague beginning, the Poetics has been a...

Our Town is one of the most performed and best-known plays in American theater; it is a truism in the theater business that every night, somewhere in America, a theater audience is watching Our Town. The play is especially popular in amateur...

American Beauty is a DreamWorks production that was shot in 1999 and released in the United States in 2000. It was the big-screen debut for director Sam Mendes, as well as for writer Alan Ball. The film was produced by Alan Ball, Bruce Cohen, Dan...

Devil in a Blue Dress (1990) is Walter Mosley's first novel as well as the first book of the Easy Rawlins mystery series. Mosley has said that although he has long been enamored of detective fiction, he did not set out to write a mystery series....

Plato's Republic has long defied classification: it is a philosophical masterpiece; it is acute political theory; it is great literature. Although certain inconsistencies have been subsequently discovered, philosophical and otherwise, there can be...

Hedda Gabler was published in 1890 before opening in Munich, Germany in 1891 to terrible reviews. Indeed, Ibsen was not happy with the premiere, citing the overly declamatory inflections of the lead actress. The play seemed destined to fail. Hedda...