Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Project 1929

1929 was, as we are now acutely aware, the year of the great stock market crash that ushered in the Great Depression. It was also a banner year for literature. 1929 saw the publication of Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front, Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms, Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's One, and Thomas Wolfe's Look Homeward Angel, and many other books both famous and forgotten. Over on LibraryThing, I've accepted an invitation to join a group called "Project 1929." Members of the group will devote some of their reading time in 2009 to books published 80 years ago. Many thanks to Paola for the invitation, and to Carolyn for the brilliant idea. A spreadsheet listing books published on 1929 can be found here.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on January 15, 1929. To mark the occasion of his 80th birthday, I'll be starting "Project 1929" next month with two books published in 1929 by women closely associated with the Harlem Renaissance: Jessie Redmon Fauset's Plum Bun and Nella Larsen's Passing. Both books are about light-skinned African-American women who "pass" as white.

Other books I hope to read as part of Project 1929 include:

Elizabeth Bowen, The Last September
Richard Hughes, A High Wind in Jamaica
Rebecca West, Harriet Hume
Ellen Glasgow, They Stooped to Folly
Sylvia Townsend Warner, The True Heart
E.B. White and James Thurber, Is Sex Necessary?
Patrick Hamilton, Twenty-Thousand Streets Under the Sky (Book I)
Stefan Zweig, Buchmendel
Junichiro Tanizaki, Some Prefer Nettles

Any other suggestions? Favorite books published in 1929? Leave me a comment!

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