By John Dos Passos
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U.S.A. (Trilogy) by John Dos Passos ranked # 23 on The Modern Library's Top 100 Novels list as selected by its Board Members.
The U.S.A. Trilogy is the major work of American writer John Dos Passos. It comprises the novels The 42nd Parallel (1930), 1919 (1932), and The Big Money
(1936), which were published together as one novel cycle in 1938. Dos Passos used an experimental technique in this trilogy, incorporating fictional realism, newspaper clippings, biography and sections of autobiographical stream of consciousness to paint a vast and colorful landscape of American culture during the first decades of the twentieth century.
Dos Passos' trilogy relates the lives of many characters as the struggle to find a place in American society during the early part of the twentieth century. Each character is presented to readers from their childhood on, and although many of his sections are quite short, one of the successes of Dos Passos' style is that readers feel they are reading about the whole life of a character.
Interspersed with the fictional sections about his characters Dos Passos has included sections of biography and autobiography; and he has interpolated newspaper clippings and song lyrics. Dos Passos titles his autobiographical sections The Camera Eye, the sections of headlines Newsreel, and has individually labeled each short biography.
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