The Scarlet Letter

By Nathaniel Hawthorne; Kathryn Harrison (Introduction by)
(Modern Library, Paperback, 9780679783381, 304pp.)

Publication Date: September 12, 2000

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Description
Introduction by Kathryn Harrison
Commentary by Nathaniel Hawthorne, W. D. Howells, and Carl Van Doren
A stark tale of adultery, guilt, and social repression in Puritan New England, "The Scarlet Letter" is a foundational work of American literature. Nathaniel Hawthorne's exploration of the dichotomy between the public and private self, internal passion and external convention, gives us the unforgettable Hester Prynne, who discovers strength in the face of ostracism and emerges as a heroine ahead of her time. As Kathryn Harrison points out in her Introduction, Hester is the herald of the modern heroine.
Includes a Modern Library Reading Group Guide.



About the Author
Nathaniel Hawthorne s (1804 1864) ability to weave worlds of plaintive beauty is somewhat at odds with his family background. His ancestry, which stems back to the Salem witch trials of 1692, contains a bloody, judgmental history used to dramatic effect in his novels and short stories. For Hawthorne, the sins of the father being passed on through subsequent generations was a haunting image, which he believed shadowed his own family.

Kathryn Harrison is a graduate of Stanford University and the Iowa Writer's Workshop. She is the author of the novels The Binding Chair, Thicker Than Water, Exposure, and Poison. She has also written a memoir, The Kiss. Her personal essays have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, and other publications. She lives in New York with her husband, the novelist Colin Harrison, and their children.
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