Launching later tonight.
This is a work that traces the evolution of a single family through multiple (usually three) generations. Often it follows the pattern:
- The first-generation protagonist is an immigrant.
- The second-generation protagonist becomes entirely assimilated in the host culture.
- The third-generation protagonist ends up learning to appreciate their ancestral heritage.
Another frequent theme is that the first- and third-generation characters have more in common with each other than either does with the second-generation character.
This is primarily a literary/theatrical trope (I think), though you might be able to see less-planned versions of it in long-running Soap Operas
or possibly even Comic Books
- Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides follows this pattern, for a family of Greek immigrants to the Detroit area.
- Accelerando by Charles Stross; in this case, the "immigration" that occurs is into The Singularity.
- The family from Rock 'n' Roll by Tom Stoppard aren't immigrants, but it does have the three generations of protagonists with the intermediate one being the odd one out.
- Roots by Alex Haley is an incredibly extended example, going through seven generations.
- Some probable examples from this blog thread, none of which I've read:
- I Remember Mama, a play by John Van Druten (and presumably also Mama's Bank Account, the memoir on which it was based?)
- The Philadelphian by Richard Powell
- The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy
- The Jalna series by Mazo de la Roche