Confession: I don't like American literature. I just don't. Not being a great fan of American classics, I've largely avoided interaction with many of the nation's celebrated writers. John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain: overrated. All of them. As an American, I'm aware I am not exhibiting much patriotism in my indifference (even extreme dislike) of my country's canon, but there it is. I honestly have never regretted migrating to England for my education in order to focus on British texts.
Lately I've felt like I'm missing out by excluding Edith Wharton from my library. I've not read a single work of hers, and I'd like to change that. A friend has been consistently encouraging me to give The Age of Innocence a go, then I'll come across an enthusiastic review of Ethan Frome. While I'm currently (and quite happily) buried under a pile of books all vying for my attention, my thoughts keep wandering to Edith Wharton. Clearly my literary subconscious is dying to get to know her, and I need to arrange a meeting soon.
So, as one who is entirely ignorant of this acclaimed author, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the subject and as well as any recommendations. I'm inclined to begin my Edith Wharton education with The Age of Innocence, but I can't be sure. Where would you start? Do you have a favourite Wharton text? What is it about her writing that you like if, indeed, you like it at all. Please, educate me!
P.S. Even though I've not read a word of Edith Wharton's, I am dying to visit her former home and museum The Mount. Methinks I see another literary pilgrimage on the horizon. Check it out: