20th Century in Literature - Interwar Period

Interwar Period

The 1920s were a period of literary creativity, and works of several notable authors appeared during the period. D. H. Lawrence's novel Lady Chatterley's Lover was a scandal at the time because of its explicit descriptions of sex. James Joyce's novel, Ulysses, published in 1922 in Paris, was one of the most important achievements of literary modernism.

1919

  • Within a Budding Grove by Marcel Proust
  • Night and Day by Virginia Woolf
  • Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson (USA) - the first 'lost generation' novel
  • Valmouth by Ronald Firbank
  • Bazaar-e-Husn by Premchand (publ. in Hindi as Seva-sadan)

Genre fiction

  • Dope by Sax Rohmer - inspired by the true story of Limehouse dope-dealer Brilliant Chang
  • Dope Darling by Leda Burke (David Garnett) (England)

1920

  • We by Yevgeny Zamyatin (Czechoslovakia)
  • Limbo by Aldous Huxley (England) - short stories
  • The Lost Girl by D. H. Lawrence
  • This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald (USA)
  • The London Venture by Michael Arlen (Armenia, England)
  • Storm of Steel by Ernst Junger (Germany)
  • Voyage to Arcturus by David Lindsay (Scotland)
  • Main Street by Sinclair Lewis (USA)
  • The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton (USA)

Plays

  • Six Characters in Search of an Author by Luigi Pirandello (Italy)
  • Beyond the Horizon and Anna Christie by Eugene O'Neill - Pulitzer prize winner

1921

  • The Guermantes Way by Marcel Proust
  • Crome Yellow by Aldous Huxley
  • England, My England and Other Stories by D. H. Lawrence - short stories
  • The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy (England) - pentology, first volume published in 1906
  • My Life and Loves by Frank Harris (England, USA) - four volumes of quasi-factual sex gossip, the fifth completed by Alex Trocchi

Plays

  • Back to Methuselah by George Bernard Shaw
  • R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots) by Karel Čapek - from which the term 'robot' was coined

1922

  • Ulysses by James Joyce
  • Jacob's Room by Virginia Woolf
  • Sodom and Gomorrah by Marcel Proust
  • The Enormous Room by E. E. Cummings (USA)
  • Futility by William Gerhardie (Russia, England)
  • The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Mortal Coils by Aldous Huxley - short stories
  • Aaron's Rod by D. H. Lawrence
  • The Garden Party by Katherine Mansfield - short stories
  • Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse (Germany, Switzerland)
  • Peter Whiffle by Carl Van Vechten (USA)
  • Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis
  • Lady into Fox by David Garnett

Poetry

  • The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot

1923

  • Confessions of Zeno by Italo Svevo (Italy)
  • The Good Soldier Švejk by Jaroslav Hašek (Czechoslovakia)
  • The Captive by Marcel Proust
  • Kangaroo by D. H. Lawrence
  • Antic Hay by Aldous Huxley
  • Three Soldiers by John Dos Passos (USA)
  • The Great American Novel by William Carlos Williams
  • The Devil in the Flesh by Raymond Radiguet (France)
  • Aelita by Alexey Tolstoy (Russia)

Plays

  • The Shadow of a Gunman by Sean O'Casey (Ireland)

Poetry

  • New Hampshire by Robert Frost

1924

  • The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann (Germany)
  • In Our Time by Ernest Hemingway (USA) - short stories
  • Passage to India by E. M. Forster
  • Little Mexican by Aldous Huxley - short stories
  • The Fox and The Captain's Doll by D. H. Lawrence - short stories

Genre fiction

  • The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie (England)

Plays

  • Juno and the Paycock by Sean O'Casey
  • The Vortex by Noël Coward (England)

1925

  • Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
  • The Trial by Franz Kafka (Czechoslovakia) - posthumous, first English translation in 1930
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald - often described as the epitome of the "Jazz Age" in American literature
  • The Green Hat by Michael Arlen - perhaps the epitome of the jazz age in British literature
  • Paris Peasant by Louis Aragon (France)
  • Albertine disparue by Marcel Proust
  • Manhattan Transfer by John Dos Passos
  • In the American Grain by William Carlos Williams
  • The Desert of Love by François Mauriac (France)
  • Gentlemen Prefer Blondes by Anita Loos (USA)
  • Those Barren Leaves by Aldous Huxley
  • St Mawr by D. H. Lawrence - short stories
  • The Making of Americans by Gertrude Stein
  • Heart of a Dog by Mikhail Bulgakov (Russia)

Genre fiction

  • Beau Geste by P. C. Wren (England)

Poetry

  • The Hollow Men by T. S. Eliot

Non-fiction

  • The Old Straight Track by Alfred Watkins (England) - introducing ley lines

1926

  • The Castle by Franz Kafka - posthumous, first English translation in 1932
  • The Counterfeiters by André Gide
  • The Sun Also Rises aka Fiesta by Ernest Hemingway
  • Moravagine by Blaise Cendrars (France)
  • Nigger Heaven by Carl Van Vechten
  • Two or Three Graces by Aldous Huxley - short stories
  • The Plumed Serpent by D. H. Lawrence

Genre fiction

  • Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne (England)

Poetry

  • A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle by 'Hugh MacDiarmid' (Scotland)

Plays

  • The Plough and the Stars by Sean O'Casey

Non-fiction

  • The Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T. E. Lawrence (England, Arabia)

1927

  • To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
  • Time Regained by Marcel Proust
  • Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse
  • Men Without Women by Ernest Hemingway - short stories
  • Vestal Fire by Compton MacKenzie
  • Dusty Answer by Rosamond Lehmann (England)
  • Elmer Gantry by Sinclair Lewis
  • The Rocking Horse Winner by D. H. Lawrence - short stories

Plays

  • The Silver Tassie by Sean O'Casey

1928

  • Berlin Alexanderplatz by Alfred Doblin (Germany)
  • Nadja by André Breton (France)
  • Story of the Eye by Georges Bataille (France)
  • Parade's End by Ford Madox Ford - war tetralogy, first volume in 1926
  • Point Counter Point by Aldous Huxley
  • Lady Chatterly's Lover by D. H. Lawrence - banned until 1963
  • Decline and Fall by Evelyn Waugh (England)
  • Amerika by Franz Kafka - posthumous, first English translation in 1938

Plays

  • Strange Interlude by Eugene O'Neill (USA) - Pulitzer prize winner

Non-fiction

  • All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque (Germany) - recounts the horrors of World War I and also the deep detachment from German civilian life felt by many men returning from the front

1929

  • Les Enfants Terribles by Jean Cocteau (France)
  • A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway (USA)
  • Look Homeward Angel by Thomas Wolfe
  • Death of a Hero by Richard Aldington (England)
  • The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner (USA)
  • Mario and the Magician by Thomas Mann (Germany)
  • The Escaped Cock by D. H. Lawrence (England)
  • The Defence by Vladimir Nabokov (Russia, France)
  • Wolf Solent by John Cowper Powys (England)
  • The Good Companions by J. B. Priestley (England)

Non-fiction

  • Goodbye to All That by Robert Graves (England)
  • A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf (England)

Genre fiction

  • Red Harvest by Dashiel Hammett (USA) - the first hard-boiled American detective novel

1930

  • Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh
  • The Apes of God by Wyndham Lewis
  • Brief Candles by Aldous Huxley - short stories
  • As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
  • Narcissus and Goldmund by Hermann Hesse
  • Angel Pavement by J. B. Priestley
  • The Virgin and the Gypsy and Love Among the Haystacks by D. H. Lawrence - short stories

Genre fiction

  • Last and First Men by Olaf Stapledon (England)

Poetry

  • Whoroscope by Samuel Beckett (Ireland, France)

Plays

  • Private Lives by Noël Coward

Genre fiction

  • The Maltese Falcon by Dashiel Hammett (USA)
  • Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon

Non-fiction

  • Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man by Siegfried Sassoon (England) - 2 volumes, 1st in 1929

1931

  • The Waves by Virginia Woolf
  • Night Flight by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (France)

Genre fiction

  • The Glass Key by Dashiel Hammett

Plays

  • Mourning Becomes Electra by Eugene O'Neill
  • Cavalcade by Noël Coward

Non-fiction

  • Axel's Castle by Edmund Wilson (USA)
  • Music at Night by Aldous Huxley

1932

  • Journey to the End of Night by Louis-Ferdinand Celine (France)
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  • The Memorial by Christopher Isherwood (England)
  • Laughter in the Dark by Vladimir Nabokov (Russia, France)
  • Light In August by William Faulkner
  • A Glastonbury Romance by John Cowper Powys
  • Stamboul Train by Graham Greene (England)
  • Black Mischief by Evelyn Waugh
  • Radetzky March by Joseph Roth (Austria)
  • Jew Boy by Simon Blumenfeld (England)

Poetry

  • The Orators by W. H. Auden (England)

1933

  • Man's Fate by André Malraux (France)
  • Love on the Dole by Walter Greenwood (England)
  • Miss Lonelyhearts by Nathaniel West (USA)
  • The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein

Genre fiction

  • Lost Horizon by James Hilton (England)
  • Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy L. Sayers (England)

Non-fiction

  • Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell (England)
  • Texts and Pretexts by Aldous Huxley
  • In Praise of Shadows by Jun'ichirō Tanizaki

1934

  • Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller (USA) - a groundbreaking obscenity case before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1961 allowed its publication there
  • Call It Sleep by Henry Roth (Austria, USA)
  • Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Threepenny Novel by Bertoldt Brecht (Germany)
  • Despair by Vladimir Nabokov
  • It's a Battlefield by Graham Greene
  • A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh
  • 20,000 Streets Under the Sky by Patrick Hamilton (England)
  • Voyage in the Dark by Jean Rhys (Dominica, France, England)
  • Appointment in Samarra by John O'Hara (USA)
  • A Scots Quair by Lewis Grassic Gibbon (Scotland) - trilogy, first volume published in 1932

Genre fiction

  • The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain (USA)
  • Novel with Cocaine aka Cocain Romance by M. Ageyev (Russia)

Poetry

  • 18 Poems by Dylan Thomas (Wales)

Non-fiction

  • Burmese Days by George Orwell
  • Death in the Afternoon by Ernest Hemingway

1935

  • Mr Norris Changes Trains by Christopher Isherwood
  • Eyeless in Gaza by Aldous Huxley
  • Auto da Fe by Elias Canetti (Bulgaria, Germany)
  • A Clergyman's Daughter by George Orwell
  • England Made Me by Graham Greene
  • A House in Paris by Elizabeth Bowen (Ireland)
  • Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck (USA)
  • Studs Lonigan by James T. Farrell (USA) - trilogy, first volume published in 1932

Genre fiction

  • Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder (USA)

Poetry

  • Collected Poems by Cecil Day-Lewis (Northern Ireland)

Plays

  • Waiting for Lefty by Clifford Odets (USA)

1936

  • Death on the Installment Plan by Louis-Ferdinand Celine
  • Black Spring by Henry Miller
  • U.S.A. by John Dos Passos
  • Mephisto by Klaus Mann (Germany, USA)
  • Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner
  • Keep the Aspidistra Flying by George Orwell
  • Confessions of a Murderer by Joseph Roth
  • Invitation to a Beheading by Vladimir Nabokov
  • The Wessex Novels by John Cowper Powys (England) - tetrology, 1st vol published in 1927
  • Godaan by Premchand

Genre fiction

  • Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier (England)
  • Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (USA)
  • A Gun for Sale by Graham Greene

1937

  • To Have and Have Not by Ernest Hemingway
  • The Years by Virginia Woolf
  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  • Lions and Shadows by Christopher Isherwood
  • The Black Book by Lawrence Durrell (UK, Egypt)
  • Revenge for Love by Wyndham Lewis
  • White Mule by William Carlos Williams
  • Wide Boys Never Work by Robert Westerby (England, USA)

Genre fiction

  • Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon
  • Night and the City by Gerald Kersh (England, USA)
  • The Face on the Cutting-Room Floor by Cameron McCabe (Ernest Borneman) (Germany, England)
  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien (England)

Non-fiction

  • The Road to Wigan Pier by George Orwell
  • How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn (Wales)

1938

  • Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre (France)
  • Murphy by Samuel Beckett
  • Tropic of Capricorn by Henry Miller
  • Man's Hope by André Malraux
  • The Death of the Heart by Elizabeth Bowen
  • Brighton Rock by Graham Greene
  • Scoop by Evelyn Waugh
  • The Gift by Vladimir Nabokov

Genre fiction

  • Brighton Rock by Graham Greene
  • Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Non-fiction

  • Journey to a War by W. H. Auden and Christopher Isherwood
  • Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell
  • Enemies of Promise by Cyril Connolly (England)

1939

  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  • Finnegans Wake by James Joyce
  • At Swim-Two-Birds by Flan O'Brien (Ireland)
  • Goodbye to Berlin by Christopher Isherwood
  • After Many a Summer by Aldous Huxley
  • Coming Up for Air by George Orwell
  • On the Marble Cliffs by Ernst Junger
  • Good Morning Midnight by Jean Rhys
  • The Day of the Locust by Nathaniel West
  • Legend of the Holy Drinker by Joseph Roth
  • Lotte in Weimar by Thomas Mann
  • The Confidential Agent by Graham Greene
  • Mister Johnson by Joyce Cary (Ireland)
  • Wind, Sand and Stars by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  • Pal Joey by John O'Hara

Genre fiction

  • The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler (USA)
  • Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household (England)
  • The Mask of Dimitrios by Eric Ambler
  • And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

Poetry

  • Autumn Journal by Louis MacNeice (N Ireland)
  • The Map of Love by Dylan Thomas

Plays

  • This Happy Breed by Noël Coward

Read more about this topic:  20th Century In Literature

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