About Classics

Literary classics are books that have entered into the cultural zeitgeist and stayed put. With a sense of universal appeal, these stories are deemed “great works of literature” and have had a lasting impact on our society even after the events or characters described are no longer in the contemporary setting of the modern reader.

What is considered a "classic" can depend on the part of the world or the cultural background in which a reader lives. Surveys of the western canon often include such stories as The Great Gatsby, The Catcher in the Rye, The Old Man and the Sea, and Brave New World. Other classics go even further back in history, like Homer’s The Iliad or Dante’s Divine Comedy. Although this genre has often been white and male-dominated by many definitions, authors like Jane Austen, Zora Neale Hurston, Sylvia Plath, Toni Morrison, and Octavia Butler are rightfully considered classics and add needed perspectives to the canon.

These stories frequently remain rooted in our cultural consciousness because they discuss themes that remain relevant today. Love, death, struggle, faith, greed, and family persist beyond the borders of a single decade, and books that intelligently depict these themes remain part of our discussion years later. Find the classic you most love or just missed in this selection of classic audiobooks.