Previous Theme Spotlights:
Gender in YA
Faith and Spirituality in Classics
I love Sedgwick, and he is a master of this novel-made- of-short-stories form. This is one of my favorite books I have read this year. The stories are amazing on their own, but when stacked on top of each other they build on the themes in the previous stories perfectly. Sedgwick commands time and fate beautifully in his novels, and this form really helps to accentuate those themes. This novel is a little bit different than the other novels on this list as you can read the four stories in any order you wish.
This novel contains some pretty powerful and serious themes about race in America in the 1930's-1940's. The short stories in this novel pack a huge punch on their own, but stacked on top of each other, they really make a statement. This novel is quite hard to get through at some points because it is horrifying, but it is a true and necessary read.
This is the first novel of this form that I read, and I read it way back in my freshman year of college. This novel has almost a double layer of short stories in it, as it has vignettes in between the short stories that also connect to the stories and stand on their own. Hemingway is a great short story writer, and I really want to reread this one soon. This novel works to build a sense of the Lost Generation or the youth and young adults living after WWI.
And of course I had to throw one of my all-time favorite novels on this list. I just reread this and loved it even more the second time. This novel is pure genius.