Authors Note: Apologies for the long delay folks–I have been hit with the early season illness that has had me flattened for two weeks!
Finally, a letter where I didn’t have to pull my hair out deciding which author to choose! I could have chosen D.H. Lawrence, but this isn’t Authors I Loathe A-to-Z, it is Favorite Authors. I could have chosen Astrid Lindgren, but I promised myself that I was not going to choose any children’s or young adult authors for this series (as much as it pains me).
Jack London was the obvious choice. I adored his The Call of the Wild and White Fang and it would give me the opportunity to choose an American author for once, when I most often am inclined to choose from the English.
London was an interesting character. His father denied him and his mother tried to kill herself while pregnant; an early history that later led London to leave school and go to the Klondike. Imagine if he hadn’t had such a family beginning–his novels may never have been written! But he did and they were. The Klondike was good for London’s career, but not his health, and he was forced to return to California where he wrote The Call of the Wild and short stories based on his experiences there. Later in life, he traveled to the South Pacific which inspired many of his later works.
Here’s the run-down of some favorites:
The Call of the Wild: The story of Buck the dog, who is stolen from his cushy life as a pet dog and sold into the world of sled dogs in the Klondike. It is told from the perspective of the dog and tells the tales of his struggles and survival in a harsh environment, rivalry with Spitz (another sled dog), cruel mistreatment and ultimately love and loyalty. Great book.
White Fang: A follow-up to Call of the Wild, White Fang is another dog story, this time of a wild wolf-dog hybrid. He is forced to fight other dogs for his survival until he at last finds love and security as the domestic dog of a judge. If you like Call of the Wild, White Fang is a natural next choice.
The Iron Heel: If you want a totally different London experience, this novel tells the story of a breakdown in the structure of the United States. London shows his interests in socialism and his dissatisfaction with politics and the environment of the times.
Happy Reading! And Happy Thanksgiving, a great eating and reading holiday!