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812.5 ONE (O'Neill)

Long Day's Journey Into Night
Completed in 1940, it is an autobiographical play Eugene O'Neill wrote that--because of the highly personal writing about his family--was not to be released until 25 years after his death, which occurred in 1953. But since O'Neill's immediate family had died in the early 1920s, his wife allowed publication of the play in 1956. Besides the history alone, the play is fascinating in its own right. It tells of the "Tyrones"--a fictional name for what is clearly the O'Neills. Theirs is not a happy tale: The youngest son (Edmond) is sent to a sanitarium to recover from tuberculosis; he despises his father for sending him; his mother is wrecked by narcotics; and his older brother by drink. In real-life these factors conspired to turn O'Neill into who he was--a tormented individual and a brilliant playwright.

FIC ORW (Orwell)


In 1948 a book burst in on the reading public which forecast a world so nightmarish, so devoid of promise, that it seemed the work of a Mephistophelian mind. The year 1948 was to all appearances an odd time for dire prediction: America had just helped save the world from tyranny in a world war thought to be definitive; Americans were about to elect a Midwestern common man to the presidency; the new-sprung United Nations was supposed to become a forum of benevolent multiplicity. This astonishing novel was set in a year so distant that it seemed incomprehensible; but the year 1984 has passed and it is time to read or reread Orwell's predictions about the future.

FIC PAT (Paton)

Cry, The Beloved Country
Novel about a black man's country under white man's law. When this novel first appeared, it was compared favorably with Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin and praised for its lack of bias in presenting "a calm and clear statement, in human terms, of South Africa." The author wrote about his own observations of the social and moral disintegration of South Africa, the drift of young men to Johannesburg and the consequent problem of urbanization and growing frustration and crime within the townships, above all the crime of man's inhumanity to man.


Agnes of God


The Birthday Party

822.914 PIN (Pinter)

The Caretaker
A tramp finds lodging in the derelict house of two brothers.


The Rape of the Lock

842.4 RAC (Racine)

Racine's drama is one of passion overpowering reason. Phedre lusts for her stepson Hippolytus, misogynist Hippolytus yearns for the royal captive Aricia, Oenone will do anything to protect her mistress Phedre's reputation, and Theseus will believe Oenone and exile his son Hippolytus rather than question Phedre. These are all errors of judgment that the gods will punish, regardless of the culprits' good intentions or previous good works.

FIC RHY (Rhys)


Wide Sargasso Sea
Wide Sargasso Sea is the story of Antoinette Cosway, a Creole heiress who grew up in the West Indies on a decaying plantation. When she comes of age she is married off to an Englishman, and he takes her away from the only place she has known--a house with a garden where "the paths were overgrown and a smell of dead flowers mixed with the fresh living smell. Underneath the tree ferns, tall as forest tree ferns, the light was green. Orchids flourished out of reach or for some reason not to be touched." The novel is Rhys's answer to Jane Eyre. Charlotte Brontë's book had long haunted her, mostly for the story it did not tell--that of the madwoman in the attic, Rochester's terrible secret. Antoinette is Rhys's imagining of that locked-up woman, who in the end burns up the house and herself. Wide Sargasso Sea follows her voyage into the dark, both from her point of view and Rochester's. It is a voyage charged with soul-destroying lust. "I watched her die many times," observes the new husband. "In my way, not in hers. In sunlight, in shadow, by moonlight, by candlelight. In the long afternoons when the house was empty.".




Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz


The Moor's Last Sigh

842.914 SAR (Sartre)

No Exit
Existential drama portrays the alienation of modern man. No Exit is the unforgettable portrayal of hell, The Flies is a modern reworking of the Electra-Orestes story, Dirty Hands is about a young intellectual torn between theory and praxis, and The Respectful Prostitute is a scathing attack on American racism.



822.33 S1 (Shakespeare)


Antony and Cleopatra
Contains the unabridged text of the tragic play about the Queen of Egypt and her lover Mark Antony, one of the three rulers of Rome; includes explanations of words and passages, a plot synopsis, scene summaries, and notes on the individual characters; and features questions, activities and biographical information about Shakespeare.

822.33 O3  (Shakespeare)


As You Like It
As You Like It is a Comedy written by English playwright William Shakespeare, who is widely considered to be the greatest writer of the English language. As You Like It is the story of the power struggles between two brothers, Duke Senior, who is in exile in Arden and his brother Frederick, who has usurped the royal throne. The play also focuses on the love story between Duke Senior's daughter Rosalind and Orlando.

822.33 S7 (Shakespeare)

*# (read in AP Lit)

A grieving young prince learns his father's death was no accident. Hamlet, the dark and brooding prince of Denmark, becomes obsessed with bringing the king's killer to justice. But will vengeance destroy the prince as well? Find out in this murder mystery containing dark secrets, a spiteful ghost, and a bloodthirsty king.

822.33 W1 (Shakespeare)


Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2
Presents the complete text of the play in which a rebellion against King and State is juxtaposed against the rebellion of Prince Hal against his father King Henry IV, and features modern spelling and punctuation, source material, and an annotated bibliography.

822.33 W3 (Shakespeare)


Henry V
Presents Shakespeare's history play in which young King Henry of England asserts a hereditary claim to the throne of France, gathering an army and embarking on a course that will lead to one of England's greatest battlefield triumphs; and includes explanatory notes and information on Shakespeare's sources and the play in performance.

822.33 T1 (Shakespeare)

Julius Caesar
Presents Shakespeare's tragedy in which Cassius, fearing Julius Caesar's ambition, forms a conspiracy among Roman republicans to assassinate the leader on the Ides of March; and includes an introduction, notes, a modern perspective essay, an annotated further reading list, and a key to famous lines.

822.33 T3 (Shakespeare)

King Lear
Presents Shakespeare's tragedy in which an English king foolishly splits his kingdom between the two daughters plotting his doom and disinherits his favorite for speaking out against him; and includes an introduction, notes, a modern perspective essay, an annotated further reading list, and a key to famous lines.

822.33 T5 (Shakespeare)


Shakespeare's tragedy of prophecy and royal murder in medieval Scotland.  Macbeth and Banquo, who are generals serving King Duncan of Scotland, meet three witches that prophesy that Macbeth will become thane of Cawdor, then king, and that Banquo's heirs will be kings.  Soon thereafter Macbeth is indeed made thane which leads him to believe the rest of the prophecy.  He tells Lady Macbeth, who plots to kill Duncan when he spends a night at Macbeth's castle....

822.33 P3 (Shakespeare)


The Merchant of Venice
A comedy about a creditor demanding a pound of flesh in payment for a defaulted loan, and a lover who must choose among three caskets in a riddle game to win the hand of a wealthy lady.

 822.33 P7 (Shakespeare)


A Midsummer Night's Dream
This has long been the most popular of Shakespeare's comedies.  Theseus, Duke of Athens, is about to wed Hippolyta, the Amazon queen.  Meanwhile, two lovers, Hermia and Lysander, hide in the woods when Hermia's father demands that she marry Demetrius.  Hoping to win his favor, Helena tells Demetrius of their whereabouts, and the two go to the woods in search of the fugitives.... 

822.33 Q1 (Shakespeare)


Much Ado About Nothing
The play takes an ancient theme--that of a woman falsely accused of unfaithfulness--to brilliant comedic heights.  Claudio is deceived by his jealous cousin into believing that his lover, Hero, is unfaithful.  Meanwhile, Beatrice and Benedick have "a kind of merry war" between them, matching wits in clever repartee.  Each is tricked into believing that the other is in love, which allows true affection between them to grow. 

822.33 T7 (Shakespeare)


Jealousy, bitterness, and prejudice lead to mayhem and murder in Othello, one of William Shakespeare's greatest and most suspenseful works. Packed with drama, intrigue, and some of the most memorable characters ever created, Othello encourages us to rethink our own beliefs about trust, perception and the nature of love and friendship.

822.33 X5  (Shakespeare)


Richard III
Shakespeare's historical play in which Richard III, Duke of Gloucester, plots and schemes to obtain power and is eventually haunted by those he removed in the process.

822.33 U3 (Shakespeare)


Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet is one of the most famous love stories in the world. But it is more than a great love story. It is also about life and death, happiness and sadness, and the terrible hate between two great families. Shakespeare's beautiful tale is still as popular today as it was more than 400 years ago.

822.33 Q5 (Shakespeare)


The Tempest  
Presents the text of Shakespeare's play about the deposed duke living in exile with his daughter, Miranda; includes explanations of passages, a plot synopsis, scene summaries, and notes on the main characters; and features questions, activities, and biographical information about Shakespeare.

822.33 Q7 (Shakespeare)

Twelfth Night
Twins Sebastian and Viola are separated during a shipwreck; each believes the other dead.  Viola disguises herself as a boy and enters the service of Duke Orsino, who is in love with the Lady Olivia.  He sends Viola to plead his cause to Olivia, who promptly falls in love with the messenger.  Viola, meanwhile, is in love with the Duke, and when Sebastian is rediscovered, many comic situations of mistaken identity ensue.

822.33 R3 (Shakespeare)


The Winter's Tale
Contains the unabridged text of the tragicomedy about a king whose unfounded jealousy has lifelong consequences for his family and friends; includes explanations of words and passages, a plot synopsis, scene summaries, and notes on the main characters; and features questions, activities, and biographical information about Shakespeare.



822.912 SHA (Shaw)

Major Barbara
Drama in which a Salvation Army member, Barbara is pitted against a munitions manufacturer. When the Army accepts donations from armament manufacturer, her father and a whiskey distiller, whose money Barbara regards as tainted, she resigns in disgust, but eventually sees the truth of her father's reasoning that social iniquity derives from poverty; it is only through accumulating wealth and power that people can help each other.


Man and Superman


Mrs. Warren's Profession

822.912 SHA (Shaw)

Presents the text of "Pygmalion," the story of Henry Higgins, a professor of phonetics who transforms cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle into a lady, and includes the script to "My Fair Lady," the musical romance based on the tale of Henry and Eliza.

822.912 SHA (Shaw)

Saint Joan
The play depicts the trial, burning at the stake, and canonization of Joan of Arc.

FIC SHE (Shelley)


Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus, is a combination of gothic romance and science fiction, the book tells the story of Victor Frankenstein, a Swiss student of natural science who creates an artificial man from pieces of corpses and bring his creature to life. Rejected and reviled for his hideous appearance, the creature learns the ways of humans, but he cannot find companionship. Increasingly brutal, the monster haunts Frankenstein and insists he create a female companion. Frankenstein almost complies but in the end cannot perform the deed. The monster eventually brings about the scientist's destruction. And then the name of Frankenstein becomes popularly attached to the creature itself.

FIC SIL (Silko)


Follows Tayo, a young Native American, after his release from a veteran's hospital following World War II as he searches for meaning and sanity in his life. Tayo discovers his connection to the land and to ancient rituals with the help of a medicine man, and comes to understand the need to create ceremonies, to grow and change, in order to survive. He finds peace by "finally seeing the pattern, the way all the stories fit together -- the old stories, the war stories, their stories -- to become the story that was still being told.".

FIC SMI (Smiley)

A Thousand Acres
The vast and beautiful landscape of a thousand-acre farm is where Jane Smiley begins her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. Scanning the countryside through a fish eye lens, the novel brings into focus a small barbecue party where a decision has been made that will break down the frail framework that has held together a seemingly idyllic and prosperous third-generation farm family. The focus narrows as Jane Smiley delves into these complex, trapped characters blindly leading themselves into unchangeable situations. Reminiscent of Shakespeare's King Lear, the story revolves around three daughters and their father, Larry, who sees them as one entity with no personality, their only reason for existence being to serve him. Ginny, the protagonist, her indecision swinging like a pendulum, selflessly wants to please everyone. Rose, the witty, sarcastic middle sister, is at first the only person with whom Ginny can identify. The confident Caroline left the farm to become a lawyer; now she drifts through Ginny 's and Rose's lives like an outsider. Just when it seems that the reader knows everything about these complex characters, Jane Smiley sneaks up from behind and exposes another layer of their lives. Vivid and unsettling, A Thousand Acres takes us to the edge of unbelievable desperation and makes us question whether anyone's life is what it seems.

891.7 SOL (Solzhenitsyn)


One Day in Life of Ivan Denisovich
The story of one man's struggle to survive in a Soviet workcamp during the Stalin era. A common carpenter, Ivan is one of millions viciously imprisoned for years on baseless charges, sentenced to the waking nightmare of Soviet work camps. This powerful novel based on historical fact is a scathing indictment of Communist tyranny, and an eloquent affirmation of the human spirit.

882 SOP (Sophocles)


Found in The Oedipus Cycle which contains the classical text and commentary of "Oedipus Rex," "Oedipus at Colonus," and "Antigone."

882 SOP (Sophocles)


Oedipus Rex
Greek drama in which a noble family moves toward catastrophe, dragged down from wealth and power by pride, suicide and murder.

FIC SPA (Spark)

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
Spark’s most celebrated novel, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, tells the story of a charismatic schoolteacher’s catastrophic effect on her pupils.  The story centers on an eccentric Edinburgh teacher who inspires cultlike reverence in her young students. The novel explores themes of innocence, betrayal, and cold rationality opposed to unchecked emotionalism. The story of Miss Brodie's ultimate downfall is told from the unsympathetic perspective of one of her students.

822.914 STO (Stoppard)

*# (read in AP Lit)

Rose & Guildenstern Are Dead
Acclaimed as a modern dramatic masterpiece, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead is the fabulously inventive tale of Hamlet as told form the worm's-eye view of the bewildered Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, two minor characters in Shakespearean Laurel and Hardy finally get a chance to take the lead role, but do so in a world where echoes of Waiting for Godot resound, where reality and illusion intermix, and where fate leads our two heroes to a tragic but inevitable end.


The Father

FIC SWI (Swift)


Gulliver's Travels
Gulliver's Travels describes the four fantastic voyages of Lemuel Gulliver, a kindly ship's surgeon. Swift portrays him as an observer, a reporter, and a victim of circumstances. His travels take him to Lilliput where he is a giant observing tiny, petty people. In Brobdingnag, the tables are reversed and he is the tiny person in a land of crude giants where he is exhibited as a curiosity at markets and fairs. The flying island of Laputa is the scene of his next voyage. The people plan and plot as their country lies in ruins. It is a world of illusion and distorted values. The fourth and final voyage takes him to the home of the Houynhnms, gentle philosophical horses who rule the land. He also encounters Yahoos, filthy bestial creatures who resemble humans. These journeys give him new, bitter insights into human behavior. Swift's fantastic and subversive book remains supremely relevant in our own age of distortion, hypocrisy, and irony.

891.7 TOL (Tolstoy)


Anna Karenina
Realistic novel of a modern social criticism set in 19th century Russia. This is the double drama of Anna and of Levin. Sensual, rebellious Anna renounces her respectable marriage and fine position for a passionate involvement which offers a taste of freedom and a trap for destruction. This historical romance is considered the greatest novel of the 19th century!


Death of Ivan Illych




The Warden


The Way We Live Now

891.7 TUR (Turgenev)

Fathers and Sons
Controversial at the time of publication, this Russian novel concerns the inevitable conflict between generations and between the values of traditionalists and intellectuals. Its hero, Dr. Bazarov, is a new man, a nihilist, uncouth and forthright in his opinions and at odds with the status quo. This is the moving story of human relationships.

843.5 VOL (Voltaire)

Eighteenth century comic masterpiece dealing with problems of suffering, evil, and the resilence of human nature. In "Candide," a glorious satire, a young hero and friends are whisked through a ludicrous variety of tortures, tragedies and reversals of fortune. The play is a challenge to the idea of Voltaire's day that "all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds."


The Loved One


Winter in the Blood

FIC WEL (Welty)

Delta Wedding
A vivid and charming portrait of a large southern family, the Fairchilds, who live on a plantation in the Mississippi delta. The story, set in 1923, is exquisitely woven from the ordinary events of family life, centered around the visit of a young relative, Laura McRaven, and the family’s preparations for her cousin Dabney’s wedding.


Sent For You Yesterday

FIC WIL (Wilde)


Wilde, Oscar, The Importance of Being Earnest
Oscar Wilde’s madcap farce about mistaken identities, secret engagements, and lovers’ entanglements still delights readers more than a century after its 1895 publication and premiere performance. The rapid-fire wit and eccentric characters of The Importance of Being Earnest have made it a mainstay of the high school curriculum for decades. Cecily Cardew and Gwendolen Fairfax are both in love with the same mythical suitor. Jack Worthing has wooed Gewndolen as Ernest while Algernon has also posed as Ernest to win the heart of Jack’s ward, Cecily. When all four arrive at Jack’s country home on the same weekend—the "rivals" to fight for Ernest’s undivided attention and the "Ernests" to claim their beloveds—pandemonium breaks loose. 

FIC WIL (Wilde)


Picture of Dorian Gray
Lord Henry Wotton is a spectator in life and he does his best to influence Dorian in that direction. Dorian becomes corrupt and self-indulgent. But in answer to his prayer, he escapes unscarred from his escapades. The portrait of this man powerfully establishes evil as a reality in the novel.

FIC WOO (Woolf)


Mrs. Dalloway
This brilliant novel explores the hidden spring of thought and action in one day of a woman's life. Direct and vivid in her account of the details of Clarissa Dalloway's preparations for a party she is giving that evening, Woolf ultimately managed to reveal much more. For it is the feeling behind these daily events that gives Mrs. Dalloway its texture and richness and makes it so memorable.

FIC WOO (Woolf)

Spanning three centuries, the novel opens as Orlando, a young nobleman in Elizabeth's England, awaits a visit from the Queen and traces his experience with first love as England under James I lies locked in the embrace of the Great Frost. At the midpoint of the novel, Orlando, now an ambassador in Constantinople, awakes to find that he is a woman, and the novel indulges in farce and irony to consider the roles of women in the 18th and 19th centuries. As the novel ends in 1928, a year consonant with full suffrage for women. Orlando, now a wife and mother, stands poised at the brink of a future that holds new hope and promise for women.

FIC WOO (Woolf)

To the Lighthouse
Novel of the daily life of an English family in the Hebrides filled with emotion, atmosphere, and poetry. The first section called "The Window" describes a day during Mr. and Mrs. Ramsay's house party at their country home by the sea. Mr. Ramsay is a distinguished scholar and, in the eyes of Woolf, a typical male whose mind works rationally, heroically and coldly. Mrs. Ramsay is a warm, creative, intuitive woman, the center of the household.

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