Has the Library of America jumped the shark? When volumes on “Rushmore-sized” authors such as Melville, Twain, and Faulkner give way to volumes on H. P. Lovecraft, Philip K. Dick, and Dawn Powell, and then John Cheever, Raymond Carver, and Shirley Jackson, then it’s reasonable to ask if “the Library of America is running out of writers,” as Malcolm Jones bravely does in a recent Newsweek piece. “And all this happening, mind you, while LOA still had quite a few deceased mastodons left to corral—thanks to the intransigence of publishers and literary estates, there is as yet no LOA Ernest Hemingway, Marianne Moore, William Carlos Williams or T. S. Eliot.”
What say you? Who would you add to the list of the dead who warrant one of these beautiful volumes? Or the living? Here’s the complete list to date.
The American Library in Paris is delighted to receive many of these volumes from the Library of America, a nonprofit publishing foundation, and they circulate here nicely. The Library of America is also responsible for the striking author posters that adorn what few bare walls we have.