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Prose Fiction

Prose Fiction Reading List 

Students may modify the list by up to the amount the Department specifies. Examinations are expected to address well-established critical and theoretical debates. Students should work closely with their supervisory committee as they familiarize themselves with contemporary and historically important scholarship on the history, techniques, and theory of fiction. The list of Recommended Secondary Readings below is intended to supply a useful starting point. 

Modification of the revised Reading Lists must ensure representation across nations, genres, and periods. 

The Novel and Other Long-form Fiction to 1832

  1. Nashe, Thomas. The Unfortunate Traveller. 1594.
  2. Bunyan, John. The Pilgrim's Progress. 1678.
  3. Behn, Aphra. Oroonoko. 1688.
  4. Defoe, Daniel. Robinson Crusoe. 1719. Or Moll Flanders. 1722.
  5. Haywood, Eliza. Fantomina. 1725.
  6. Swift, Jonathan. Gulliver's Travels. 1726.
  7. Richardson, Samuel. Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded. 1740. Or Clarissa; or, The History of a Young Lady. 1747-1748.
  8. Fielding, Henry. The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling. 1749.
  9. Sterne, Laurence. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman. 1759-1767.
  10. Johnson, Samuel. The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia. 1759.
  11. Walpole, Horace. The Castle of Otranto. 1764.
  12. Mackenzie, Henry. The Man of Feeling. 1771.
  13. Burney, Frances. Evelina; or, A Young Lady's Entrance into the World. 1778.
  14. Lewis, Matthew. The Monk. 1796.
  15. Radcliffe, Ann. The Italian. 1797.
  16. Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. 1813. Or Emma. 1815.
  17. Scott, Sir Walter. Waverley; or, 'Tis Sixty Years Since. 1814. Or The Heart of Midlothian. 1818.
  18. Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. 1818.

    The Novel and Other Long-form Fiction, 1832-1918

  19. Brontë, Charlotte. Jane Eyre. 1847.
  20. Brontë, Emily. Wuthering Heights. 1847.
  21. Gaskell, Elizabeth. Mary Barton. 1848.
  22. Thackeray, William. Vanity Fair. 1848.
  23. Melville, Herman. Moby-Dick. 1851.
  24. Stowe, Harriet Beecher. Uncle Tom’s Cabin. 1852.
  25. Wilson, Harriet. Our Nig; or, Sketches from the Life of a Free Black. 1859.
  26. Dickens, Charles. Great Expectations. 1860-61.
  27. Carroll, Lewis. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. 1865.
  28. Alcott, Louisa May. Little Women. 1868.
  29. Eliot, George. Middlemarch. 1872.
  30. Twain, Mark [Samuel Clemens]. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. 1884.
  31. Stevenson, Robert Louis. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. 1886.
  32. Hardy, Thomas. Tess of the d'Urbervilles. 1891. Or Jude the Obscure. 1895.
  33. Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. 1892.
  34. Chopin, Kate. The Awakening. 1899.
  35. Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness. 1899.
  36. Forster, E. M. Howards End. 1910. Or A Passage to India. 1924.
  37. Grey, Zane. Riders of the Purple Sage. 1912.

    The Novel and Other Long-form Fiction, Modernism and After

  38. Joyce, James. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. 1914-15. Or Ulysses. 1922.
  39. Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. 1925.
  40. Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. 1925. Or To the Lighthouse. 1927.
  41. Faulkner, William. As I Lay Dying. 1930.
  42. Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God. 1937.
  43. Tolkien, J. R. R. The Hobbit. 1937.
  44. Ellison, Ralph. Invisible Man. 1952.
  45. Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. 1958.
  46. Rhys, Jean. Wide Sargasso Sea. 1966.
  47. Woodiwiss, Kathleen. The Flame and the Flower. 1972.
  48. Kingston, Maxine Hong. The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood among Ghosts. 1976.
  49. Silko, Leslie Marmon. Ceremony. 1977.
  50. Rushdie, Salman. Midnight's Children. 1981.
  51. Gibson, William. Neuromancer. 1984.
  52. Atwood, Margaret. The Handmaid’s Tale. 1985. Or Oryx and Crake. 2003.
  53. DeLillo, Don. White Noise. 1985.
  54. Coetzee, J. M. Foe. 1986. Or Disgrace. 1999.
  55. Moore, Alan and Dave Gibbons. Watchmen. 1987.
  56. Morrison, Toni. Beloved. 1987.
  57. Ondaatje, Michael. In the Skin of a Lion. 1987.
  58. King, Thomas. Green Grass, Running Water. 1993.
  59. Smith, Zadie. White Teeth. 2000.
  60. Foer, Jonathan Safran. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. 2005.
  61. Meyer, Stephanie. Twilight. 2005.
  62. Ishiguro, Kazuo. Never Let Me Go. 2005.
  63. Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi. Half of a Yellow Sun. 2006.
  64. Yang, Gene. American Born Chinese. 2007.

    Short Fiction

  65. Polidori, John. “The Vampyre.” 1819.
  66. Poe, Edgar Allan. Tales of Mystery and Imagination. [1830s­­-40s, collected 1908.]
  67. Hawthorne, Nathaniel. “Young Goodman Brown” and “Rappaccini’s Daughter.” 1835 and 1844.
  68. Melville, Herman. “Bartleby the Scrivener.” 1853. Or “Benito Cereno.” 1855.
  69. Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. “The Yellow Wallpaper.” 1892.
  70. James, Henry. “The Real Thing,” “The Figure in the Carpet,” and “The Beast in the Jungle.” 1892, 1896, and 1903.
  71. Lawrence, D. H. The Odour of Chrysanthemums.” 1911. Or “The Horse Dealer’s Daughter.” 1922.
  72. Joyce, James. “The Dead.” 1914.
  73. Mansfield, Katherine. “The Garden Party.” 1922.
  74. Toomer, Jean. Cane. 1923.
  75. Hemingway, Ernest. In Our Time. 1925.
  76. Munro, Alice. Lives of Girls and Women. 1971.
  77. Kureishi, Hanif. “My Son the Fanatic.” 1997.
  78. Lahiri, Jhumpa. Interpreter of Maladies. 1999.

Recommended Secondary Readings

Watt, Ian. Rise of the Novel. 1957.
Booth, Wayne. The Rhetoric of Fiction. 1961.
Genette, Gérard. Narrative Discourse: An Essay in Method. Trans. Jane E. Sewin. Foreword by Jonathan Culler. 1980.
Bakhtin, Mikhail. The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays. Ed. Michael Holquist. Trans. Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist. 1981.
Jameson, Fredric. The Political Unconscious: Narrative as Socially Symbolic Act. 1981.
Brooks, Peter. Reading for the Plot: Design and Intention in Narrative. 1984.
Armstrong, Nancy. Desire and Domestic Fiction: A Political History of the Novel. 1990.
Gilroy, Paul. “The Black Atlantic as a Counterculture of Modernity” from The Black Atlantic. 1993.
Said, Edward. Culture and Imperialism. 1993.
McKeon, Michael, ed. Theory of the Novel: A Historical Approach. 2000.
Woloch, Alex. The One Vs. the Many: Minor Characters and the Space of the Protagonist in the Novel. 2003.
Moretti, Franco. Graphs, Maps, Trees: Abstract Models for Literary History. 2005.
Hammond, Brean and Shaun Regan. Making the Novel: Fiction and Society in Britain, 1660-1789. 2006.
Walkowitz, Rebecca. Cosmopolitan Style: Modernism Beyond the Nation. 2006.
Casanova, Pascale. World Republic of Letters. 2007.