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  • Published: 1 July 1994
  • ISBN: 9780140179699
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 608

The Portable Jack London



Alfred Kazin has aptly remarked that "the greatest story Jack London ever wrote was the story he lived." Newsboy, factory "work beast," gang member, hobo, sailor, Klondike argonaut, socialist crusader, war correspondent, utopian farmer, and world-famous adventurer: London is the closest thing America has had to a literary folk hero. His writing itself is concerned with nothing less than the largest questions and the grandest themes: What does it mean to be a human being in the natural world? What debts do human beings owe each other - and to all their fellow creatures? This collection places London, at last, securely within the American literary pantheon. It includes the complete novel The Call of the Wild; such famous stories as "Love of Life," "To Build a Fire," and "All Gold Canyon"; journalism, political writings, literary criticism, and selected letters.

  • Published: 1 July 1994
  • ISBN: 9780140179699
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 608

About the author

Jack London

Jack London was born into poverty in San Francisco in 1876. Before his success as a novelist, London spent a lot of time avoiding a life as a manual worker and, in the process, experienced many things that became central to his plots. He ran away from home, bought a sailing boat and became an oyster pirate - a story recounted in John Barleycorn. His best-known novel, The Call of the Wild, was drawn from his own experience of the Klondike Gold Rush, a time that would inspire many of London's short stories as well. London became addicted to writing after winning a short story competition in the San Francisco Morning Call in 1893. It earned London $25, the equivalent of a month's wages. Dozens of books followed - including John Barleycorn (1913), The Call of the Wild (1903) and White Fang (1906). He published an average of three or four books a year. He died in 1916.

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