Every state has its prodigies who are gifted in the art of penmanship, and Maryland is no exception! As far back as its history goes, the “Old Line” state has been home to a whole host of esteemed authors. These authors have come from all walks of life, and many have been the recipients of prestigious literary awards, such as the Pulitzer prize and the Guggenheim fellowship!

If a teacher gives the task of writing an essay on a novel, choosing one of Maryland origin is a great place to start. Some Marylanders are extremely talented and well-known authors, whose accomplishments were awarded with famous prizes. Students can turn to their local library to research authors from particular areas or online resources such as paperap.com/novel for samples and inspiration. Such an essay assignment is a great opportunity to read a great book and learn about the literary tradition of the state of Maryland. Plus, while working on it, you might feel the urge to explore the culture and literary heritage of your native state more.

It would be no surprise if you were already familiar with some notable books written by famous authors from Maryland – although you might not have known they were Maryland authors at all! Books by authors from Maryland can be found on student curricula all around the country. As many students of literature in college will encounter such assignments during their education – here are some of the top novel titles to keep in mind for class assignments.

Life and Times of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass

Former slave Frederick Douglass went on to become one of the most prominent abolitionists and seminal authors in American history. This title is the third and final of the three autobiographies Douglass published following his escape from enslavement. This particular title is the one in which Douglass divulges the most detailed account of his experiences, both during slavery and in the Civil War period that followed afterwards.

Reading Frederick Douglass’s works is a tough yet important look back into one of the darkest chapters of America’s history. It provides an important lesson about the horrors of the past, and offers a voice to a group of people who were traditionally kept silent. Douglass is not just a gifted author who happens to hail from Maryland but a true icon of American abolitionism and a historical figure whose life has as much to say about the present as it does about the past.

Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler

Renowned author Anne Tyler is a resident of Baltimore, Maryland and the city often acts as the setting for her fiction. Breathing Lessons is no exception, as it tells the story of a married couple as they drive to a funeral from Baltimore and back again in a single day. The story explores the complexity and idiosyncrasies of what is considered an “average” marriage. In doing so, Tyler highlights that no life is average and that every marriage possesses an ocean of nuance and complexity.

Tyler received a high degree of critical praise for Breathing Lessons, even winning the coveted Pulitzer prize – a top book award for fiction. And it was not the only award the author received for her masterpiece. All this recognition has led to Breathing Lessons being the feature of many a class or lesson within a literary college course. Anne Tyler’s work is a prime example of contemporary American literature and makes for a rich, complex essay topic to research.

A Wolf by the Ears by Wayne Karlin

An example of the very forefront of contemporary literature, A Wolf by The Ears is the most recent publication of Maryland academic and author Wayne Karlin. The novel takes place in 1812, and its story explores both matters of race and slavery, as well as many of the concepts that the American republic was founded on – such as liberty, duty, and freedom.

Through Karlin’s adept storytelling, the stark contradictions and complexities that exist in American society become clear. Digging deep into A Wolf by the Ears has a lot to tell us about the relationship between racial matters, social standing, and American ideals in the present day.  

These are three of the top picks for novels that have come out of Maryland! Whether for class or pleasure, they’re all fantastic – so get reading now!


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