Literature that "encapsulates" a generation

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pseudonym

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Here's my list

Hemingway encapsulated his generation with novels such as The Sun also Rises and A Farewell to Arms.

Next came Jack Kerouac with On the Road.

This lead to Tom Wolfe and Ken Kesey with The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest which typified the 60's.

Then comes Hunter S. Thompson with Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas which typified the end of the 60's ethos.

Now my question for all of you is what typifies the 70's, 80's, 90's, and the 00's?
 

ishmael

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...Jack Kerouac with On the Road.

This lead to Tom Wolfe and Ken Kesey with The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test ...which typified the 60's

These were the two that immediately came to mind for me.
 
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Maskell

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I don't think anyone really nailed the 70s.

Martin Amis's, Money, got the 80s; Douglas Rushkoff's, Cyberia, encapsulated the emergent culture of the 90s and that's when I more or less gave up reading so I don't know about the 00s. :p
 

calamityjane

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The 70's~"Rabbit is Rich" John Updike~"The ruins of California" Martha Sheril
"The Joy of sex"~Don't know who wrote it~
"I know why the caged bird sings" Maya Angelou

I am now drawing a blank darn it. Remember, I was just a kid~A well read one though.

Oh, for the feminist movement "The Female Eunuch" Darn, "Slaughterhouse five was 1969" Not fair. Thinking about our bookshelf years ago..........

"I'm Okay our ok"~Thomas Harris I think. Oh! One more I just thought of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" Douglas Adams(I think)

I am going to add not an encapsulating book, but a personal favorite~Being very stubborn I know. "The Helga Pictures" by Andrew Wyeth. He is one of my fav artists, and he haunts me.
 
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toby

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Joan Didion for the 60s and early 70s, definitely. The essay collections 'Slouching Toward Bethlehem' and 'The White Album' both have brilliant pieces in them. Her biggest sellers were the two last ones, about her husband's death ('The Year of Magical Thinking') and her daughter's, which followed soon, although the book 'Blue Nights' didn't come out till 2011. I didn't like these as much as others, and wouldn't read 'Blue Nights' even though I've read all her other books.

Tom Wolfe also was good with the 60s in the old things like 'Kandy Kolored Tangerine Flake Streamline Baby'. And 'Bonfire of the Vanities' was terrific about Park Avenue and it's 'x-ray socialites'.

Maybe Mailer for a couple of generations, and I agree with the poster who said M. Amis captured the 80s with 'Money'.
 

notcharlotte

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ulysses by james joyce
lady chatterly's lover by d.h.lawrence
native son, richard wright
portnoy's complaint, philip roth

and the list goes on.
 

Japaholic

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"Trainspotting" and "acid house" by Irvine Welsh (ignore the movies, read the books)

Accurately portray the late 80's and early 90's scene in Scotland.

Awesome books.
 

LeopoldBloom

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David Foster Wallace definitely encapsulates the 90's and much of America as a whole.
 

Saoirse

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What about:

STEAL THIS BOOK by Abbie Hoffman

Seems appropriate for his time in history (1960's youth movements)

:D
 

LeopoldBloom

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For the "Beat" generation it is definitely "on the road" by Jack Kerouac, which contains some lines of sheer beauty. For the roaring 20s it's almost impossible to argue that Fitzgerald's "the great gatsby" encapsulates the generation. If one were to argue against gatsby, it would probably be with "the sun also rises."
 

oldgrayman

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Thanks for the tip!

"Trainspotting" and "acid house" by Irvine Welsh (ignore the movies, read the books)

Accurately portray the late 80's and early 90's scene in Scotland.

Awesome books.

I'm wrting the info down and will check it out.
 

Polynikes666

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I'm going to argue American Gods by Neil Gaiman. At least for us children of the 80's! The new Gods of Technology and Media jockeying for supremacy over the Gods of yore. You know, that old chestnut!

Poly
 

gsparrow

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Some minor soul-baring here: David Foster Wallace nearly pushed me to the brink of suicide purely through his writing. I was making some major life transitions and was experiencing what was later diagnosed as a textbook major depression when I read his short story "The Depressed Person". The (depressed) major character in question was so cruelly analyzed and dismissed, and has so many similarities to me (depressions kind of all look alike at some level), that I really felt for a while that my life should not continue. I actually had to resort to suicide hotlines for help (I was between therapists at the time -- this is what major life transitions will do to your insurance).

When I read that he killed himself, I have to admit that my first thought was "serves him right".

Yes, OK, he was a brilliant writer. But he was cruel not just in life but sometimes to his readers. I later took a creative writing class, and when the teacher said that "The Depressed Person" puzzled him and he wasn't even sure it counted as a short story, it made me feel much better :)

And to get (at least close to) back on topic, maybe that sums up the 90's in America pretty well after all.
 

Neuromaniac

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I think Aldous Huxley did a great job too. I always enjoyed Brave New World, moreso than 1984
 
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