stack of bestsellers image
Rave Reviews: Bestselling Fiction in America
University of Virginia Library
stack of bestsellers image
Introduction to the Exhibit
The Taylor Collection of Popular American Fiction
Making the Bestseller List
Types of Bestsellers
Beyond the Book
Current Bestsellers
Readers Tell Their Stories
More on the Bestseller Phenomenon

Rave Reviews: Bestselling Fiction in America


In this exhibition, we celebrate the fiction Americans actually read-fiction we admire, fiction we love, fiction we pretend to ignore. The books on display are significant both as physical objects and as reminders of great stories. Taken as a whole, they provide an index of American interests and reading tastes over the last two and a half centuries.

The exhibition stems from the collecting efforts of Lillian Gary Taylor. During her lifetime, Mrs. Taylor assembled over 1,900 literary bestsellers. Her handwritten notebooks provide an engaging portrait of a collector who loved to read and who understood that, though the best lasts longest, literary merit is not the only measure of a book's importance.

Curated by Lynda Fuller Clendenning, U.Va. Library, and John Unsworth, Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, U.Va.

This exhibition is sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. George B. Bolton, San Francisco, California.


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