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Correction to This Article
In the previous edition, "The Jungle" was identified as being written by Sinclair Lewis. The book was authored by Upton Sinclair.

Literary Pigs

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

You can huff and puff all you want, but from our first encounter with those three little ones, pigs have continued to capture the imagination. They're curiously familiar and alien, serious and ridiculous. Here's a list of their various roles in fiction -- some are sweet, others will curl your tail:

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The Amityville Horror, by Jay Anson (1977). Who can forget Jodie's beady red eyes in the window?

Animal Farm, by George Orwell (1945). Napoleon and the Old Major are frighteningly brutal political operatives.

Charlotte's Web, by E.B. White (1952). Wilbur is a wise spider's best friend.

The Chronicles of Prydain, by Lloyd Alexander (1964). This Newbery Medal-winning series inspired by Welsh mythology features the young keeper of an oracular pig.

A Day No Pigs Would Die, by Robert Newton Peck (1972). Heart-wrenching story about a Shaker boy and his beloved piglet.

The Ethical Assassin, by David Liss (2006). A corrupt police chief hides the odor of his meth lab by building it on a pig farm.

Freddy Goes to Florida, by Walter Brooks (1927). The first of many children's books to feature the adventuresome porker.

Hogfather, by Terry Pratchett (1996). Four boars pull Hogfather's sleigh to bring gifts to good little boys and girls on that special night.

The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair (1906). Shocking descriptions of a hog-processing factory helped enact sweeping new food laws in America.

Lord of the Flies, by William Golding (1954). A pig's skull symbolizes the devil in this classic boyhood dystopia.

Olivia, by Ian Falconer (2000). The debut of the irrepressible piglet in the classy outfits.


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