NCL 76 – A Search for America by Frederick Philip Grove


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A Search for America  was not included in Series One.


A Search for America by Frederick Philip Grove (New Canadian Library N76)

Series Two

From the Back Cover:

Since its first sensational appearance in 1927, this epic novel has gone into many reprints and has long been acclaimed as one of Grove’s most powerful works. The rhythms of his prose are ideally suited to the vast sweeps of his canvas – the great cities and factories, the harvest fields and open roads of the North American continent. It is against this background that the young Swedish immigrant, Phil Branden, moves in his urgent search for the truths of his adopted country and the truths of his own nature. His quest presents a compelling picture of late nineteenth-century America at all levels of society. And, as Stanley McMullin points out in his excellent introduction, it was in this book that Grove “worked out the basic premises of his fable. The quest for meaning in a society committed to materialistic goals became the central motif underlying his creative life.” Such a motif has perhaps even more significance today.


A Search for America by Frederick Philip Grove (New Canadian Library N76)Series Three

From the Back Cover:

One of Canada’s most intriguing authors presents a stirring account of a rootless wanderer’s cross-country travels.

What happens when a young immigrant, familiar only with the traditions of the Old World, comes to North America in search of a way of life to call his own? Frederick Philip Grove provides an answer in this book, as he relates a story of conflicting ideologies, disparate lifestyles, and unpredictable journeyings.

Grove’s uncertain hero discovers a continent that is seldom easy to understand. Greed accompanies generosity; plenty exists side by side with grinding need; and the difference between urban and rural life lies much deeper than the contrast between the city’s sooty smokestacks and the country’s peaceful fields. Told in the first person, the novel has sometimes been seen as a partial autobiography of Grove–who was himself an immigrant. The speculation is a tribute to the telling detail which has been brought to this vivid recreation of a young man’s first glimpse of a disconcerting New World.


A Search For America by Frederick Philip Grove (New Canadian Library) front coverSeries Four

From the Back Cover:

Frederick Philip Grove’s semi-autobiographical A SEARCH FOR AMERICA follows young Phil Branden as he wanders from Montreal to the American Midwest in his quest for “the real America.” Born into a privileged Eurpoean Family whose fortunes have collapsed, Branden must remake himself in North America, shedding his Old World attitudes as he is absorbed into the immigrant underclass. In each of his new occupations – waiter, salesman, hobo, labourer – Branden encounters greed, cruelty, and deceit, yet he also glimpses the promise of a new social order struggling to be born.

First published in 1927, A SEARCH FOR AMERICA is a novel of wonderful range and vision, a fascinating portrait of North American society in the early years of the twentieth century.


Read the eBook:

pdficon_largeA Search for America


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