A hijacked jumbo jet blows apart high above the English Channel. Two figures, Gibreel and Saladin, are washed up on an English beach. Soon curious changes occur--Gibreel seems to have acquired a halo, while Saladin grows hooves and bumps at his temples. They are transformed into living symbols of what is angelic and evil. This is the initial act in an odyssey that merges the actual with the imagined.
The Awakening (1899), by Kate Chopin, tells the story of Edna Pontellier, a wife and mother living in Victorian-era New Orleans. On a summer vacation with her children off the coast of New Orleans, Edna spends time with a young man named Robert LeBrun, the son of vacationing friends. Getting to know Robert in the island's lush and soothing environment leads to a series of unexpected, escalating events as Edna confronts and startlingly acts upon her deepening feelings of attraction and desire.
Now hailed as an American classic, Tropic of Cancer, Henry Miller's masterpiece, was banned as obscene in this country for 27 years after its publication in Paris in 1934. Only a historic court ruling that changed American censorship standards permitted the publication of this first volume of Miller's famed mixture of memoir and fiction, which chronicles with unapologetic gusto the bawdy adventures of a young expatriate writer, his friends, and the characters they meet in Paris in the 1930s.
Cat's Cradle is Kurt Vonnegut's satirical commentary on modern man and his madness. An apocalyptic tale of this planet's ultimate fate, it features a midget as the protagonist, a complete, original theology created by a calypso singer, and a vision of the future that is at once blackly fatalistic and hilariously funny. A book that left an indelible mark on an entire generation of readers, Cat's Cradle is one of the twentieth century's most important works--and Vonnegut at his very best.
A seductive and beautiful love story about an aristocrat, Sir Clifford Chatterley, who has come home from the war paralyzed from the waist down. His wife devotes herself to his care, but her husbands bitter arrogance soon makes her life a nightmare. Selfishly he suggests that she produce an heir. He never dreams that she will break all the rules and forgetting her social class, take their gamekeeper as her lover.
Stunned by his mother's recent death and appalled by the way his father sleepwalks through life, Jerry Renault, a New England high school student, ponders the poster in his locker-Do I dare disturb the universe? Part of his universe is Archie Costello, leader of a secret school societ-the Virgils-and master of intimidation. Archie himself is intimidated by a cool, ambitious teacher into having the Virgils spearhead the annual fund-raising event-a chocolate sale. When Jerry refuses to be bullied into selling chocolates, he becomes a hero, but his defiance is a threat to Archie, the Virgils, and the school. In the inevitable showdown, Archie's skill at intimidation turns Jerry from hero to outcast, to victim, leaving him alone and terribly vulnerable.
When Tolstoy's The Kreutzer Sonata was banned from distribution through the mail (except for first class) in 1890, New York street vendors began selling it from pushcarts carrying large signs reading ""Suppressed!"" In 1961, the United States Supreme Court pondered whether D.H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover was lewd or literary. In 1969, the novel was required reading in many college literature courses. Changing sexual mores have moved many formerly forbidden books out of locked cabinets and into libraries and classrooms.
Isabella Swan's move to Forks, a small, perpetually rainy town in Washington, could have been the most boring move she ever made. But once she meets the mysterious and alluring Edward Cullen, Isabella's life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn.
Many things have changed since ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) was founded in 1967, but not everything: the most beloved and popular children's books are still among the most frequent targets of censorship and outright bans. Limiting access to controversial titles such as Captain Underpants, The Dirty Cowboy, Blubber, or Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark or leaving them out of a library's collection altogether is not the answer to challenges. In this important book, Scales gives librarians the information and guidance they need to defend challenged books with an informed response while ensuring access to young book lovers.
The mysterious Jay Gatsby embodies the American notion that it is possible to redefine oneself and persuade the world to accept that definition. Gatsby's youthful neighbor, Nick Carraway, fascinated with the display of enormous wealth in which Gatsby revels, finds himself swept up in the lavish lifestyle of Long Island society during the Jazz Age. Considered Fitzgerald's best work, The Great Gatsby is a mystical, timeless story of integrity and cruelty, vision and despair. The story of the mysteriously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when The New York Times noted "gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession," it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s.
As I Lay Dying is Faulkner's harrowing account of the Bundren family's odyssey across the Mississippi countryside to bury Addie, their wife and mother. Narrated in turn by each of the family members--including Addie herself--as well as others the novel ranges in mood, from dark comedy to the deepest pathos. Considered one of the most influential novels in American fiction in structure, style, and drama, As I Lay Dying is a true 20th-century classic.
Miles "Pudge" Halter is abandoning his safe-okay, boring-life. Fascinated by the last words of famous people, Pudge leaves for boarding school to seek what a dying Rabelais called the "Great Perhaps." Pudge becomes encircled by friends whose lives are everything but safe and boring. Their nucleus is razor-sharp, sexy, and self-destructive Alaska, who has perfected the arts of pranking and evading school rules. Pudge falls impossibly in love. When tragedy strikes the close-knit group, it is only in coming face-to-face with death that Pudge discovers the value of living and loving unconditionally.
Evelyn Waugh's most celebrated novel is a memory drama about the intense entanglement of the narrator, Charles Ryder, with a great Anglo-Catholic family. Written during World War II, the novel mourns the passing of the aristocratic world Waugh knew in his youth and vividly recalls the sensuous plea-sures denied him by wartime austerities; in so doing it also provides a profound study of the conflict between the demands of religion and the desires of the flesh.
Take a lighthearted, nostalgic trip to a simpler time, seen through the eyes of a very special boy named Tom Sawyer. It is a dreamlike summertime world of hooky and adventure, pranks and punishment, villains and young love, filled with memorable characters.
The astonishing novel Brave New World, originally published in 1932, presents Aldous Huxley's vision of the future -- of a world utterly transformed. Through the most efficient scientific and psychological engineering, people are genetically designed to be passive and therefore consistently useful to the ruling class. This powerful work of speculative fiction sheds a blazing critical light on the present and is considered to be Huxley's most enduring masterpiece.
Philip Pullman takes readers to a world where humans have animal familiars and where parallel universes are within reach. Lyra is rushing to the cold, far North, where witch clans and armored bears rule. North, where the Gobblers take the children they steal--including her friend Roger. North, where her fearsome uncle Asriel is trying to build a bridge to a parallel world. Can one small girl make a difference in such great and terrible endeavors?
Twenty years after the publication of the Newbery Award-winning Julie of the Wolves, Jean Craighead George takes up at the moment Julie decides to leave the wolf pack that adopted her and return to the Eskimo tribe of her father. It is a choice fraught with implications she cannot forsee--and may have to forsake.
Now 14, Harry Potter has only two more weeks with his Muggle relatives before returning to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Yet one night a vision harrowing enough to make his lightning-bolt-shaped scar burn has Harry on edge and contacting his godfather-in-hiding, Sirius Black.
These six powerful short stories chronicle bits of the lives of characters, major and minor, who have walked the rugged terrain of Chris Crutcher's earlier works. They also introduce some new and unforgettable personalities who may well be heard from again in future books. As with all Crutcher's work, these are stories about athletes, and yet they are not sport stories. They are tales of love and death, bigotry and heroism, of real people doing their best even when that best isn't very good. Crutcher's straightforward style and total honesty have earned him an admiring audience and made readers of many nonreaders.