Has The Lord of the Rings completely monopolized our understanding of the novelistic trilogy format? There were other trilogies, you know! American authors wrote many of these little-known trilogies, and they were, I daresay, just as gripping. What does “a trilogy” mean in an American context? Why do these American authors consider a trilogy the appropriate format in which to relate their stories? If brevity is proverbially “the soul of wit,” then of what attribute can we conclude a trilogy is the essence? What exactly sustains interest in the stories for these authors and for us as readers? Do we gain anything (new, different, or useful) from such steady attention to a trilogy versus what we gain from reading a single stand-alone novel apart from the trilogy to which it belongs? Is a trilogy just a meaningless convention, if a person can, in fact, read one novel in the trilogy without reading the other two? These are just some of the questions we will attempt to answer in reading the following texts: John Updike’s “Rabbit” series: Rabbit, Run (1960), Rabbit Redux (1971), and Rabbit is Rich (1981); Toni Morrison’s thematic trilogy: Beloved (1987), Jazz (1992), and Paradise (1997); Louise Erdrich’s almost-finished trilogy: The Plague of Doves (2008), The Round House (2012).