William Steig’s Abel’s Island (1976)

William Steig’s Abel’s Island (1976)

Steig’s juvenile novel Abel’s Island (1976) is a Robinsonade, the adventure of Abelard Hassam di Chirico Flint a mouse stranded for a year on an island in a river. Like Robinson Crusoe, Abel manages to live off the land and returns to his former life chastened but...
Sarah Orne Jewett ‘s The Country of the Pointed Firs  (1896)

Sarah Orne Jewett ‘s The Country of the Pointed Firs (1896)

Jewett’s chapters “The Reunion” and “The End of the Feast” from The Country of the Pointed Firs describe Bowden picnic reunion in the fictional town of Dunnet Landing, Maine. The family sit at long tables in a grove of trees overlooking...
Paul de Kock’s Monsieur Dupont (1825)

Paul de Kock’s Monsieur Dupont (1825)

De Kock sometimes styled the French Dickens, is known for his broad portrayals of the Parisian working-class society, affairs, cabarets, and other entertainment. In Monsieur Dupont, the entertainment spotlighted is a tumultuous picnic at Romainville, still a popular...
Philip K. Dick’s Eye in the Sky (1957)

Philip K. Dick’s Eye in the Sky (1957)

The picnic in Dick’s Eye in the Sky is characteristic of his style of mixing shifting planes of reality and illusion, laced with sardonic humor. The picnic takes when the real world collides accidentally with an alternate world it’s the result of an...
Paul Theroux’s O-Zone (1986)

Paul Theroux’s O-Zone (1986)

The New Year’s Eve picnic in Theroux’s O-Zone is a (very long) environmental sci-fi/melodrama. The year is 2036, and eight picnickers have gathered in the O-Zone or Outer Zone. This vast ecological disaster area was once Arkansas and Missouri sucking...
John Fowles’  Daniel Martin(1977)

John Fowles’ Daniel Martin(1977)

Fowles’s macabre notion of wrecking pleasure is an aborted picnic on the River Cherwell. Daniel Martin and Jane Mallory, two Oxford undergraduates, set out for a pleasant outing.  They are punting and chatting, not knowing that this day is the beginning of a...
George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda (1876)

George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda (1876)

Daniel Deronda has two archery picnics, both of which do not meet the usual expectations of being joyous. Eliot uses sport to illustrate gender relationships. Both archery picnics are metaphors in which Gwendolyn Harleth and the other women archers are contrasted to...
P.H. Newby’s The Picnic at Sakkara (1955)

P.H. Newby’s The Picnic at Sakkara (1955)

Newby’s Picnic At Sakkara is a comic novel set during political and international turmoil in Egypt.   At the time of Newby’s action around 1946-47, the British are still in control of the Suez Canal, the Farouk regime was wobbling, and Egyptian nationalism led by the...
Jack London’s Martin Eden (1908)

Jack London’s Martin Eden (1908)

Picnics in Jack London’s Martin Eden contrast social disparities between the poor working and genteel upper classes. London’s Martin Eden alludes to Horatio Alger Jr.’s heroes who rise in society through hard work and education. But London disparages Alger’s optimism....