2013 Great American Novel Tournament of Tweed

View the 2013 Great American Novel Tournament of Tweed Official Bracket

Printable Bracket

The Champion
(3) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
To Kill a Mockingbird solidifies its reign as the Greatest American Novel with 57% to 43% win over The Great Gatsby. TKAM beat the following novels along the way: (14) Bel Canto, (6) The Color Purple, (2) As I Lay Dying, (1) The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, (1) The Grapes of Wrath and (3) The Great Gatsby. Congratulations To Kill a Mockingbird, you are the greatest novel of all time!!

The Final

(3) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Path to Final: (14) Bel Canto | (6) The Color Purple | (2) As I Lay Dying | (1) The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn | (1) The Grapes of Wrath
To Kill a Mockingbird has inspired odder and greater things than the combination of creme de menthe and tequila. July 11, 2010, marked the fiftieth anniversary of Lee's venerated, controversial, and unavoidable book. Celebrations were everywhere. Special readings and panel discussions took place in locales from Vermont to Alabama to Washington, the 1962 movie starring Gregory Peck in his Oscar-winning role was shown in numerous theaters and libraries across the country, and a bookstore in Santa Cruz, California, hosted a reenactment of the famous courtroom scene. Not even the satirical paper The Onion could resist Mockingbird mania with this spoof headline: "Senate Unable to Get Enough Republican Votes to Honor 'To Kill a Mockingbird.'" Not everyone, however, was extolling Mockingbird's praises. In a June 24, 2010, Wall Street Journal article, "What 'To Kill a Mockingbird' Isn't," journalist Allen Barra kicked Harper Lee out of the canon of great Southern writers. He called Atticus a "repository of cracker-barrel epigrams" and the book as a whole "a sugar-coated myth of Alabama's past that millions have come to accept." Though Barra argued that Mockingbird's "bloodless liberal humanism is sadly dated," last summer's celebrations showed how great a hold it has on readers' memories and their hearts.

Now that the anniversary hoopla has subsided, will this classic that was never meant to be a blockbuster--or a children's book, for that matter--be quietly retired? No. If anything, the fiftieth anniversary reminds us how this book has become so much more than a book. It has generated not just a cocktail but song lyrics, band names, and children's and dogs' names, and myriad young adult books have been inspired by its power. Mockingbird has become a part of the public subconscious, a literary and a cultural touchstone.

To attend high school in the United States is to be required to read Mockingbird. First published in 1960, this novel shocked its debut author and her publisher when it won the Pulitzer Prize and became a best seller. Since then, Mockingbird has sold nearly one million copies a year, and for the past five years has been the second-best-selling backlist title in the country. (Eat your hearts out, Stephenie Meyer and J. K. Rowling.) But how did Mockingbird become a book for youth? Is it because the narrator, Scout, is a young tomboy? Or is it because the novel is both a bildungsroman and a suspenseful courtroom drama? Or was Mockingbird eventually labeled a children's book simply because Flannery O'Connor mused, "It's interesting that all the folks that are buying it don't know they are reading a children's book"? Given Mockingbird's cultural permeation and multigenerational readership, it appears to be a true example of a "book for all ages."
[...]
To Kill a Mockingbird is perhaps our foremost example of the private reading experience writ larger by its communal--and now multigenerational--replication. Fans and the indifferent alike can remember when and where they were when they read the book, voluntarily or not, for the first time. Recollection of that memory of reading, perhaps even more than the book itself, is the reason To Kill a Mockingbird has become an enduring metaphor for justice, goodness, and the bittersweetness of growing up.
Philpot, Chelsey. "The long life of a mockingbird." The Horn Book Magazine May-June 2011: 51+. Literature Resource Center. Web. 8 Apr. 2013.

(3) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Path to Final: (14) On the Road | (6) The Age of Innocence | (2) Beloved | (5) Invisible Man | (3) Slaughterhouse-Five
Critics have generally agreed that The Great Gatsby, published in 1925, is the crowning achievement of Fitzgerald's literary career. It evokes not only the ambiance of the jazz-age search for the American dream of wealth and happiness, but also the larger questions of fading traditional values in the face of increasing materialism and cynicism.
[...]
Early reviews of Gatsby were mixed, and relatively few copies actually had sold before Fitzgerald's death in 1940. Many critics, most notably Ernest Hemingway, were put off by the fact that Fitzgerald had been known as a writer of stories for popular magazines like The Saturday Evening Post. It was not until a revival of Fitzgerald's works in the 1950s that the novel began to attract serious criticism. For the five ensuing decades, Gatsby has continued to attract critical attention and reappraisal. Critics have praised Fitzgerald's tightly woven narrative, and many have focused on the position of the narrator, Nick Carraway, and the subjective limitations of his observations of Gatsby's saga. Although Gatsby was for many years called "a novel of the Jazz Age" (a term which Fitzgerald coined), critics have agreed that it has a much more universal meaning, not the least of which is a trenchant critique of materialist American society much like T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land. The appearance of at least four biographies in the 1990s and early 2000s is an indication that interest in Fitzgerald's novels remains unabated. Earlier critics of Gatsby emphasized biographical and cultural influences on the novel, and formalist approaches dealt with the novel's structure, point of view, symbols, use of language, and the like. By the 1980s through the early 2000s, a variety of approaches, both heavily theoretical and non-theoretical, have been evident in critics' commentaries. While many have continued to explore biographical influences or comparisons with other authors, or to use New Critical analyses, others have increasingly employed such techniques as deconstruction, feminist criticism, and discourse analysis to uncover hidden meanings in the text.
"The Great Gatsby." Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Ed. Linda Pavlovski. Vol. 157. Detroit: Gale, 2005. Literature Resource Center. Web. 8 Apr. 2013.

Finest Four Matchup #1

Finest Four Matchup #2

Elitist Eight Results

Elitist Eight East Final

Elitist Eight North Final

Elitist Eight West Final

Elitist Eight South Final

Sweet Sixteen Voting Results

Sweet Sixteen East Division Matchups

Sweet Sixteen North Division Matchups

Sweet Sixteen West Division Matchups

Sweet Sixteen South Division Matchups

Round Two Voting Results

Round Two East Division Matchups

Round Two North Division Matchups

Round Two West Division Matchups

Round Two South Division Matchups

Round One Results

Round One East Division Matchups

  • (1) Moby Dick by Herman Melville vs. (16) Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
  • (8) Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe vs. (9) Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  • (5) Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison vs. (12) American Pastoral by Philip Roth
  • (4) The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne vs. (13) Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
  • (6) The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton vs. (11) Rabbit, Run by John Updike
  • (3) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald vs. (14) On The Road by Jack Kerouac
  • (7) Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin vs. (10) Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
  • (15) The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver vs. (2) Beloved by Toni Morrison

Round One North Division Matchups

  • (1) For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway vs. (16) Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • (8) The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros vs. (9) Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • (5) Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson vs. (12) The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
  • (4) An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser vs. (13) The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
  • (6) The U.S.A. Trilogy by John Dos Passos vs. (11) The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow
  • (3) Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut vs. (14) From Here to Eternity by James Jones
  • (7) Main Street by Sinclair Lewis vs. (10) Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
  • (15) The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder vs. (2) Native Son by Richard Wright

Round One West Division Matchups

  • (1) The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck vs. (16) Always Coming Home by Ursula K. LeGuin
  • (8) One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey vs. (9) The Ox-Bow Incident by Walter van Tilburg Clark
  • (5) The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper vs. (12) Kindred by Octavia E. Butler
  • (4) Gilead by Marilynne Robinson vs. (13) Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko
  • (6) Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather vs. (11) McTeague by Frank Norris
  • (3) Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner vs. (14) The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
  • (7) Blood Meridien by Cormac McCarthy vs. (10) Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
  • (15) Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya vs. (2) The Call of the Wild by Jack London

Round One South Division Matchups

  • (1) The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain vs. (16) Swamplandia! by Karen Russell
  • (8) Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs vs. (9) All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren
  • (5) Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston vs. (12) A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
  • (4) The Awakening by Kate Chopin vs. (13) Rum Punch by Elmore Leonard
  • (6) The Color Purple by Alice Walker vs. (11) The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines
  • (3) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee vs. (14) Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
  • (7) The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers vs. (10) Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg
  • (15) Bastard out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison vs. (2) As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner