Portal:Novels

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Introduction

A novel is a relatively long work of narrative fiction, normally written in prose form, and which is typically published as a book.

The entire genre has been seen as having "a continuous and comprehensive history of about two thousand years", with its origins in classical Greece and Rome, in medieval and early modern romance, and in the tradition of the Italian renaissance novella. (Since the 18th century, the term "novella", or "novelle" in German, has been used in English and other European languages to describe a long short story or a short novel.)

Selected article

Harper Lee receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 200
To Kill a Mockingbird is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Harper Lee published in 1960. It was instantly successful upon its release and has become a classic of modern American fiction. The novel is loosely based on the author's observations of her family and neighbors, as well as an event that occurred near her hometown in 1936, when she was 10 years old. The novel is renowned for its warmth and humor, despite dealing with the serious issues of rape and racial inequality. The narrator's father, Atticus Finch, has served as a moral hero for many readers, and a model of integrity for lawyers. One critic explained the novel's impact by writing, "[i]n the twentieth century, To Kill a Mockingbird is probably the most widely read book dealing with race in America, and its protagonist, Atticus Finch, the most enduring fictional image of racial heroism." As a Southern Gothic novel and a bildungsroman, the primary themes of To Kill a Mockingbird involve racial injustice and the destruction of innocence, but scholars have also noted that Lee addresses the issues of class tensions, courage and compassion, and gender roles in the American Deep South. The book is widely taught in schools in English-speaking countries with lessons that emphasize tolerance and decry prejudice. Despite its themes, To Kill a Mockingbird has been the target of various campaigns to have it removed from public classrooms.

Selected novel quote

The Writings of Charles Dickens v20 p220 (engraving).jpg
  • It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way— in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

A Tale of Two Cities


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