The Call of the Wild—Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time
To this day Jack London is the most widely read American writer in the world," E. L. Doctorow wrote in The New York Times Book Review. Generally considered to be London's greatest achievement, The Call of the Wild brought him international acclaim when it was published in 1903. His story of the dog Buck, who learns to survive in the bleak Yukon wilderness, is viewed by many as his symbolic autobiography. "No other popular writer of his time did any better writing than you will find in The Call of the Wild," said H. L. Mencken. "Here, indeed, are all the elements of sound fiction."
White Fang (1906), which London conceived as a "complete antithesis and companion piece to The Call of the Wild," is the tale of an abused wolf-dog tamed by exposure to civilization. Also included in this volume is "To Build a Fire," a marvelously desolate short story set in the Klondike, but containing all the elements of a classic Greek tragedy.
"The quintessential Jack London is in the on-rushing compulsive-ness of his northern stories," noted James Dickey. "Few men have more convincingly examined the connection between the creative powers of the individual writer and the unconscious drive to breed and to survive, found in the natural world. . . . London is in and committed to his creations to a degree very nearly unparalleled in the composition of fiction."
About the Author
Jack London (1876-1916) was an American writer who produced two hundred short stories, more than four hundred nonfiction pieces, twenty novels, and three full-length plays in less than two decades. His best-known works include The Call of the Wild, The Sea Wolf, and White Fang.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1941) was one of the literary titans of the 20th century. A member of the "Lost Generation" of the 1920s, Fitzgerald's writings best captured what he termed "The Jazz Age," a period of declining traditional American values, prohibition and speakeasies, and great leaps in modernist trends.