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FIC ELI (Eliot G.)

Silas Marner
The story's main character is a friendless weaver who cares only for his cache of gold. He is ultimately redeemed through his love for Eppie, an abandoned golden-haired baby girl, whom he discovers shortly after he is robbed and raises as his own child.

821 ELI (Eliot, T. S.)

Waste Land, The
This long poem by T.S. Eliot, published in 1922, was one of the most influential works of the 20th century. "The Waste Land" expresses with great power the disillusionment and disgust of the period after World War I. In a series of fragmentary vignettes, loosely linked by the legend of the search for the Grail, it portrays a sterile world of panicky fears and barren lusts, and of human beings waiting for some sign or promise of redemption. The depiction of spiritual emptiness in the secularized city--the decay of urbs aeterna (the "eternal city")--is not a simple contrast of the heroic past with the degraded present; it is rather a timeless, simultaneous awareness of moral grandeur and moral evil.

822 EUR (Euripides)

Found in Medea and Other Plays

822 EUR (Euripides)

Oresteia, The
Found in Medea and Other Plays

840.8 FLA (Flaubert)


Madame Bovary
Emma Bovary is a very ordinary middle-class woman with average expectations of life and an urge to dominate her surroundings. Her pursuit of tawdry romantic dreams shapes this novel.

FIC FOR (Ford)

Good Soldier: A Tale of Passion
Americans John and Florence Dowell maintain a distanced but amiable friendship with Edward and Leonora Ashburnham, a British couple they met at a spa. Dowell finds Ashburnham to be quite admirable, but as the book progresses, more and more of Ashburnham's character is revealed, causing the reader--and eventually Dowell himself--to question Dowell's own credibility. The story is told in a fragmented, impressionistic manner, and is the quintessential tale told by an unreliable narrator.

FIC FOR (Forster)


Passage to India, A   
Among the greatest novels of the twentieth century, A Passage to India tells of the clash of cultures in British India just after the turn of the century. In exquisite prose, Forster reveals the menace that lurks just beneath the surface of ordinary life, as a common misunderstanding erupts into a devastating affair.


Dancing at Lughnasa



FIC GOL (Golding)


Lord of the Flies
This novel explores the dark side of human nature and stresses the importance of reason and intelligence as tools for dealing with the chaos of existence. Children are evacuated from Britain because of a nuclear war. One airplane crashes on an uninhabited island, and all the adults are killed. The boys then fashion their own society.

FIC GOL (Goldsmith)

The Vicar of Wakefield
When Dr. Primrose loses his fortune in a disastrous investment, his idyllic life in the country is shattered, and his is forced to move with his wife and six children to an impoverished living on the estate of Squire Thornhill. Then taking to the road in pursuit of his daughter, who has been seduced by the rakish Squire, the beleaguered Primrose becomes embroiled in a series of misadventures—encountering his long-lost son in a traveling theatre company and even spending time in a debtors’ prison. Yet Primrose, though hampered by his unworldliness and pride, is sustained by his unwavering religious faith. In the Vicar of Wakefield, Goldsmith gently mocks many of the literary conventions of his day—from pastoral and romance to the picaresque—and infuses his story of a hapless clergyman with warm humor and amiable social satire.

FIC GRE (Greene)

Brighton Rock
To the wider world, the Brighton of the 1930s presented the face of an attractive seaside resort. But behind that face lay another Brighton: tracts of shoddily built houses, dreary shopping areas, and desolate industrial suburbs. Brighton was also a nest of criminal activity, centering on its racetrack. It was this aspect of Brighton life that drew Graham Greene as a professional writer. He made numbers of trips to Brighton to soak in the atmosphere and gather material.  A gang war is raging through the dark underworld of Brighton. Pinkie, malign and ruthless, has killed a man. Believing he can escape retribution, he is unprepared for the courageous Ida Arnold, who is determined to avenge a death.

FIC GRE (Greene)

Power and the Glory, The
A suspenseful story about a hunted, driven desperate priest in Mexico. The last priest is on the run. During an anti-clerical purge in one of the southern states of Mexico, he is hunted like a rabbit. Too human for heroism, too humble for martyrdom, the little worldly priest is pursued by vultures but learns to soar like an eagle.

FIC HAR (Hardy)

Jude the Obscure  
Jude the Obscure created storms of scandal and protest for the author upon its publication. Hardy, disgusted and disappointed, devoted the remainder of his life to poetry and never wrote another novel. Today, the material is far less shocking. Jude Fawley, a poor stone carver with aspirations toward an academic career, is thwarted at every turn and is finally forced to give up his dreams of a university education. He is tricked into an unwise marriage, and when his wife deserts him, he begins a relationship with a free-spirited cousin. With this begins the descent into bleak tragedy as the couple alternately defy and succumb to the pressures of a deeply disapproving society.

FIC HAR (Hardy)

Mayor of Casterbridge
The novel is set in southwest England, in the Wessex area, shortly before 1830. It tells the story of Michael Henchard, an itinerant laborer who, in a moment of drunken despair, sells his wife at auction. After Henchard has become prosperous, his act of inhumanity comes back to haunt him, and finally to destroy him. This is the record of an anguished soul, as it struggles hopelessly against a relentless, fatal retribution, makes one of the great novels of the English language.

FIC HAR (Hardy)


Tess of the D'Urbervilles
In Tess, victimized by lust, poverty, and hypocrisy, Thomas Hardy created no standard Victorian heroine, but a women whose intense vitality flares unforgettably against the bleak background of a dying rural society. Shaped by an acute sense of social injustice and by a vision of human fate cosmic in scope, her story is a singular blending of harsh realism and indelibly poignant beauty. The novel shocked its Victorian audiences with its honesty; it remains a triumph of literary art and a timeless commentary on the human condition.

883 HOM (Homer)


Iliad, The
Homer's classical account of the war between the Greeks and the Trojans from Agamemnon's visit by the priest Chryses to the burial of Hektor.

883.01 HOM (Homer)


Odyssey, The
This epic by Homer recounts the adventures of Odysseus on his way home to Ithaca after the Trojan War. Included are: the sea nymph Calypso, Telemachus, Cyclops, Poseidon, the cannibal Laestrygonians, and many more!

FIC HUX (Huxley)

*# (read in AP Lit)

Brave New World
"Community, Identity, Stability" is the motto of Aldous Huxley's utopian World State. Here everyone consumes daily grams of soma, to fight depression, babies are born in laboratories, and the most popular form of entertainment is a "Feelie," a movie that stimulates the senses of sight, hearing, and touch. Though there is no violence and everyone is provided for, Bernard Max feels something is missing and senses his relationship with a young woman has the potential to be much more than the confines their existence allows. Huxley foreshadowed many of the practices and gadgets we take for granted to day--let's hope the sterility and absence of individuality he predicted aren't yet to come.


M. Butterfly

839.82 IBS (Ibsen)


Doll's House, A   
Found in Four Great Plays
Presents the script of the late nineteenth-century play about Nora, a woman whose husband expects her to be his petted little songbird, but who is in truth hiding a deceptive secret. A classic expression of women’s rights, the play builds to a climax where Nora rejects a smothering marriage and life in "a doll’s house.".

839.82 IBS (Ibsen)


Enemy of the People, An
Found in Four Great Plays

839.82 IBS (Ibsen)


Found in Four Great Plays

839.82 IBS (Ibsen)


Hedda Gabler
Drama in which a 19th century Norwegian woman pays the consequences of her powerful but ruthless personality. One of the most widely studied and performed works in the theatrical repertoire, this dark psychological drama, first produced in Norway in 1890, depicts the evil machinations of a ruthless, nihilistic heroine. Readers will discover in the shocking events Hedda Gabler precipitates a masterly exploration of the nature of evil and the potential for tragedy that lies in human frailty.

839.82 IBS (Ibsen)


Wild Duck, The
Found in Four Great Plays

FIC ISH (Ishiguro) # (read in AP Lit)

Remains of the Day, The
Greeted with high praise in England, this winner of the Booker Prize, Ishiguro's third novel (after An Artist of the Floating World ) is a tour de force-- both a compelling psychological study and a portrait of a vanished social order. Stevens, an elderly butler who has spent 30 years in the service of Lord Darlington, ruminates on the past and inadvertently slackens his rigid grip on his emotions to confront the central issues of his life. Glacially reserved, snobbish and humorless, Stevens has devoted his life to his concept of duty and responsibility, hoping to reach the pinnacle of his profession through totally selfless dedication and a ruthless suppression of sentiment. Having made a virtue of stoic dignity, he is proud of his impassive response to his father's death and his "correct" behavior with the spunky former housekeeper, Miss Kenton. Ishiguro builds Stevens's character with precisely controlled details, creating irony as the butler unwittingly reveals his pathetic self-deception. In the poignant denouement, Stevens belatedly realizes that he has wasted his life in blind service to a foolish man and that he has never discovered "the key to human warmth.".


Typical American

FIC JOH (Johnson)

Autobiography of  Ex-Colored Man
Novel by James Weldon Johnson, published in 1912. This fictional autobiography, originally issued anonymously in order to suggest authenticity, explores the intricacies of racial identity through the eventful life of its mixed-race (and unnamed) narrator. Born in Georgia, the narrator tells of his childhood in Connecticut, where his mulatto mother, aided by monthly checks from the boy's white father, is able to provide a secure and cultured environment. Learning of his black heritage only by accident, the narrator experiences the first of several identity shifts that will eventually find him opting for membership in white society.

822.3 JON (Jonson)

The play depicts the faults, errors and foibles of ordinary people with exuberant humor, savage satire and acute observations. Volpone portrays a rich Venetian who pretends to be dying so that his despised acquaintances will flock to his bedside with extravagant gifts in hope of an inheritance.


The Dead

FIC JOY (Joyce)

Portrait of Artist as a Young Man
Here is one of the masterpieces of modern fiction. This semi-autobiographical Irish novel focuses on Stephen Dedalus, a sensitive and creative young man who rebels against his family, his education, and his country by committing himself to the artistic life.

833 KAF (Kafka)


Metamorphosis, The
A young man wakes up one morning to find himself transformed into a giant beetle-like insect. He becomes an object of disgrace to his family and an alienated man.

833.91 KAF (Kafka)

Trial, The
Joseph K. is suddenly arrested and must spend the rest of his life fighting a charge against him about which he can get no information.

FIC KNO (Knowles)


A Separate Peace
Gene was a lonely, introverted intellectual. Phineas was a handsome, taunting, daredevil athlete. What happened to them during their school years at the beginning of World War II is the subject of this novel. A great bestseller for over 20 years, this is a moving parable written about the dark forces that operate during adolescence.

FIC KOG (Kogawa)

The story of a Canadian citizens of Japanese ancestry in Canada of evacuation, relocation, and dispersal during World War II. Naomi Nakane, a child of Japanese immigrant parents, is interned by the Canadians at the beginning of World War II when she is five years old and tells the story of the experience.

FIC LAU (Laurence)

Diviners, The
After growing up in a small town, Morag searches for love and is forced to test her strength against the world over and over again until she finds the life she wants.

FIC LAU (Laurence)

Stone Angel
Raised according to the stern virtues of her pioneer ancestors, Hagar Shipley leads a life of uncompromising pride—a pride which sustained her during a stormy marriage, but which lost her a favorite son.  As her story unfolds we are given vividly etched descriptions of Hagar as a young girl in a remote prairie town; of her now estranged husband; of John, her outgoing son; and Marvin, the son she never loved. And now, with her life nearly behind her, Hagar makes a bold, last step towards freedom and independence, and in the process gains a deeper understanding of the meaning of acceptance. In The Stone Angel, Margaret Laurence has given us a portrait of a remarkable woman and life-long journey towards self-understanding.

FIC LAW (Lawrence, DH.)

Sons and Lovers
The novel revolves around Paul Morel, a sensitive young artist whose love for his mother, Gertrude, overshadows his romances with two women. Unable to watch his mother die slowly of cancer, Paul kills her with morphine.


A Gesture Life


Native Speaker

FIC MAL (Malamud)

Fixer, The
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, this is the story of Yakov Bok, accused of murder as part of an anti-Semitic movement, and how he becomes a hero.


Doctor Faustus

863 GAR (Garcia Marquez)

One Hundred Years of Solitude
The rise and fall, birth and death of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the Buendia family.

FIC MCE (McEwan)


Atonement: A Novel
This haunting novel is McEwan at his most closely observed and psychologically penetrating, and his most sweeping and expansive. It is in effect two, or even three, books in one, all masterfully crafted. The first part ushers us into a domestic crisis that becomes a crime story centered around an event that changes the lives of half a dozen people in an upper-middle-class country home on a hot English summer's day in 1935. Young Briony Tallis, a hyperimaginative 13-year-old who sees her older sister, Cecilia, mysteriously involved with their neighbor Robbie Turner, a fellow Cambridge student subsidized by the Tallis family, points a finger at Robbie when her young cousin is assaulted in the grounds that night; on her testimony alone, Robbie is jailed. The second part of the book moves forward five years to focus on Robbie, now freed and part of the British Army that was cornered and eventually evacuated by a fleet of small boats at Dunkirk during the early days of WWII. This is an astonishingly imagined fresco that bares the full anguish of what Britain in later years came to see as a kind of victory. In the third part, Briony becomes a nurse amid wonderfully observed scenes of London as the nation mobilizes. No, she doesn't have Robbie as a patient, but she begins to come to terms with what she has done and offers to make amends to him and Cecilia, now together as lovers.

821.4 MIL (Milton)


Paradise Lost
Great landmark in poems of English literature which portrays the fall of Adam and Eve. Here in one volume are the complete texts of two of the greatest epic poems in English literature, each a profound exploration of the moral problems of God's justice. They demonstrate Milton's genius for classicism and innovation, narrative and drama-and are a grand example of what Samuel Johnson called his "peculiar power to astonish.".

842.420 (Moliere)

The Misanthrope
Satiric comedy in five acts first performed in 1666.  The play is a portrait of Alceste, a painfully forthright 17th century gentleman utterly intolerant of polite society's flatteries and hypocrisies.  He is hopelessly in love with the coquettish Celimene, who proves cruel to her many suitors; all of them leave her except Alceste, who asks her to marry him.  She would consent, except that he wishes to live a simple, quiet life, while she cannot abandon the frivolous, false society she loves.

842.419 (Moliere)

Comedy in five acts by Moliere, produced in 1664.  Tartuffe is a sanctimonious scoundrel who, professing extreme piety, is taken into the household of Orgon, a wealthy man.  Under the guise of ministering to the family's spiritual and moral needs, he almost destroys Orgon's family.  Elmire, Orgon's wife, sees through Tartuffe's wicked hypocrisy and exposes him.

FIC MOM (Momaday)

House Made of Dawn
This widely acclaimed novel tells the story of a young Indian American struggling to reconcile the traditional ways of his people with the demands of the 20th century. Abel was raised to heed the voice of the land, the changes of the seasons, and the lessons taught by peyote. But once he returned from a foreign war and became exposed to the temptations of the wider world, Abel became a man lost to himself.

FIC MUK (Mukherjee)

This novel relates both the odyssey and the metamorphosis of a young immigrant from rural India. Her story is often shocking: the violence of the rape that greets her on her first night in America is certainly no greater than that of the crazed Sikh extremists who made her a widow at age 17 in India. Yet neither the character nor her story is held back by this violence. Along the way Jaze acquires three children, including Du, a Vietnamese boy who like herself is an immigrant. Finally, still only in her early twenties, Jaze takes off to pursue her own version of the American dream.

FIC NAB (Nabokov)

Pale Fire
Vladimir Nabokov's Pale Fire is a masterpiece that imprisons us inside the mazelike head of a mad émigré. Here's the plot: John Shade is a homebody poet in New Wye, U.S.A. He writes a 999-line poem about his life, and what may lie beyond death. This novel (and seldom has the word seemed so woefully inadequate) consists of both that poem and an extensive commentary on it by the poet's crazy neighbor, Charles Kinbote. According to this deranged annotator, he had urged Shade to write about his own homeland--the northern kingdom of Zembla. It soon becomes clear that this fabulous locale may well be a figment of Kinbote's colorfully cracked, prismatic imagination. Meanwhile, he manages to twist the poem into an account of Zembla's King Charles--whom he believes himself to be--and the monarch's eventual assassination by the revolutionary Jakob Gradus.

FIC OKA (Okada)

No-No Boy

In the novel, Ichiro faces ostracism after World War II because of his Japanese heritage.  The author, John Okada, served in the U.S. Army in World War II, wrote one novel and died of a heart attack at the age of 47. John Okada died in obscurity believing that Asian America had rejected his work.


Coming Through Slaughter

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