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SUGGESTED READING LIST The following list is designed especially for students who plan to pursue graduate work in English and take the GRE subject exam in literature. This test, and graduate work more generally, rewards familiarity with a much broader range of literature than can ever be taught within the confines of any undergraduate degree program. Students who are serious about future graduate studies are strongly encouraged to use their elective credits to take additional upper-division courses in English beyond the major. They are also encouraged in their free time to read as widely from this list as possible. We have underlined those works which, in our estimation, are most central to the canon and most likely to appear on the GRE. Students who do not plan to pursue graduate studies in English will nonetheless find this list useful. The works listed below are some of the greatest pieces of literature ever written. In these works you will find a lifetime’s worth of pleasurable reading. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57.

Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart Adams, Henry, The Education of Henry Adams Aeschylus, Oresteia (all three plays) Amis, Kingsley, Lucky Jim Angelou, Maya, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Aristophanes, Lysistrata Aristotle, Poetics Arnold, Matthew, “Dover Beach,” “The Function of Criticism at the Present Time,” “Sweetness and Light” Atwood, Margaret, The Handmaid’s Tale Auden, W. H. “In Memory of W.B. Yeats,” “Musée des Beaux Arts” “The Unknown Citizen” Auerbach, Eric, Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature Austen, Jane, Emma, Northanger Abbey, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility Baldwin, James, Go Tell it On the Mountain, Notes of a Native Son Baraka, Amiri (Leroi Jones), The Dutchman Barth, John, Lost in the Funhouse Beckett, Samuel, Murphy, Waiting for Godot Behn, Aphra, Oroonoko: Or the Royal Slave Bellow, Saul, Henderson the Rain King, Seize the Day, The Adventures of Augie March Beowulf Bishop, Elizabeth, “The Moose,” “Sestina,” “One Art” Blake, William, “The Lamb,” “London,” The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, “The ‘Tyger” Booth, Wayne C. The Rhetoric of Fiction Borges, Jorge Luis, Labyrinths Brecht, Bertolt, Mother Courage, The Threepenny Opera Brontë, Charlotte, Jane Eyre Bronte, Emily, Wuthering Heights Brooks, Gwendolyn, “We Real Cool” Browning, Elizabeth Barrett. “Aurora Leigh,” Sonnets from the Portuguese Browning, Robert, “The Bishop Orders His Tomb,” “Fra Lippo Lippi,” “My Last Duchess,” “Caliban upon Setebos” Bunyan, John, The Pilgrim’s Progress Burke, Edmund, Speech on Conciliation with the Colonies Burns, Robert. “A Red, Red Rose,” “Tam o’ Shanter,” “To a Louse,” “To a Mouse,” “Holy Willie’s Prayer” Burton, Robert, Anatomy of Melancholy Butler, Samuel (1612-1680), “Hudibras” Butler, Samuel (1835-1902), Erewhon, The Way of All Flesh Byrd, William, The History of the Dividing Line Byron, George Gordon, Lord, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, Don Juan, Manfred, “She Walks in Beauty” Camus, Albert, The Myth of Sisyphus, The Stranger Carroll, Lewis, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, “Jabberwocky” Cather, Willa, My Antonia Cervantes, Miguel de, Don Quixote Chaucer, Geoffrey, The Canterbury Tales, Troylus and Criseyde Chekhov, Anton, The Cherry Orchard, The Darling Chopin, Kate, The Awakening, “The Story of an Hour” Coleridge, Samuel Taylor, Biographia Literaria, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” “Kubla Khan” Congreve, William, The Way of the World Conrad, Joseph, Heart of Darkness, Lord Jim, The Secret Sharer Cooper, James Fenimore, Last of the Mohicans, The Deerslayer Cortazar, Julio, Hopscotch Crane, Stephen, “The Open Boat,” The Red Badge of Courage, Maggie: A Girl of the Streets Cullen, Countee, “Heritage,” “From the Dark Tower” cummings, e.e. “In just-,” “Buffalo Bill,” “The Cambridge Ladies,” “My father mover through dooms of love” Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy I: Inferno Declaration of Independence Defoe, Daniel, Moll Flanders, Robinson Crusoe De Quincey, Thomas. “Confessions of an English Opium Eater” Dickens, Charles, Bleak House, David Copperfield, Great Expectations, Hard Times


58. 59. 60. 61. 62. 63. 64. 65. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70. 71. 72. 73. 74. 75. 76. 77. 78. 79. 80. 81. 82. 83. 84. 85. 86. 87. 88. 89. 90. 91. 92. 93. 94. 95. 96. 97. 98. 99. 100. 101. 102. 103. 104. 105. 106. 107. 108. 109. 110. 111. 112. 113. 114. 115. 116. 117. 118. 119. 120.

Dickinson, Emily. “Because I could not stop for Death” and other famous poems—too many to list Donne, John, “The Flea,” “A Valediction Forbidding Mourning,” “Death be Not Proud,” “Batter My Heart,” “On Going to Bed” Dos Passos, John, Manhattan Transfer, any volume of the U.S.A. trilogy Dostoyevsky, Fyodor, Crime and Punishment, Brothers Karamazov Douglass, Frederick, The Narrative Life of Frederick Douglass Dreiser, Theodore, Sister Carrie Dryden, John. “Absalom and Achitophel,” All For Love, “Mac Flecknoe,” “Ode to Mrs. Anne Killigrew” Edwards, Jonathan, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” Eliot, George, Adam Bede, Middlemarch, Silas Marner Eliot, T.S., “Hamlet and His Problems,” “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” “Tradition & the Individual Talent,” The Waste Land Ellison, Ralph, Invisible Man Emerson, Ralph Waldo, “Nature,” “The American Scholar,” “The Divinity School Address,” “The Poet,” “Self Reliance” Euripides, Iphigenia at Aulis, Medea Everyman Faulkner, William, As I Lay Dying, “The Bear,” “A Rose for Emily,” The Sound and the Fury, Light in August Fielding, Henry, Joseph Andrews, Tom Jones Fitzgerald, F Scott, “Babylon Revisited,” The Great Gatsby, Tender is the Night Flaubert, Gustave, Madame Bovary Forster, F. M. Aspects of the Novel, Howard’s End, A Passage to India, A Room With a View Franklin, Benjamin, Autobiography Frost, Robert, “Design,” “After Apple Picking,” “Mending Wall,” “Home Burial,” “The Road Not Taken,” etc. Frye, Northrop, Anatomy of Criticism Ginsberg, Allan. “Howl” Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von. Faust, The Sorrows of Young Werther Gogol, Nikolai. “The Overcoat,” “The Nose” Goldsmith, Oliver “The Deserted Village,” She Stoops to Conquer, The Vicar of Wakefield Gray, Thomas. “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard,” “Ode on the Death of a Favorite Cat, Drowned in a Tub of Gold Fishes” Hardy Thomas. “Ah, Are you Digging on my Grave?” Far From the Madding Crowd, “Hap,” Jude the Obscure, “Neutral Tones,” The Return of the Native, Tess of the D’Urbervilles Hawthorne, Nathaniel, “The Minister’s Black Veil,” “My Kinsman, Major Molineux,” The Scarlet Letter, “Young Goodman Brown,” “Rappancinni’s Daughter,” “The Birthmark,” The Blithedale Romance Heller, Joseph, Catch-22 Hemingway, Ernest, In Our Time, The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls, “Hills Like White Elephants,” “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber,” “The Killers,” “A Clean Well Lighted Place,” The Old Man and the Sea Herbert, George, “The Altar,” “Easter Wings,” “The Pulley” Herrick, Robert, “To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time,” “Upon Julia’s Clothes” Hesse, Hermann, Siddartha Hobbes, Thomas, Leviathan Homer, The Iliad, The Odyssey Hopkins, Gerard Manley, “Pied Beauty” “Spring and Fall,” “Thou art Indeed Just, Lord, If I Contend,” “The Windhover” Housman, A.E., The Lovliest of Trees, the Cherry Now,” “To an Athlete Dying Young,” “When I Was One-and-Twenty,” “Terence, This is Stupid Stuff” Howells, William Dean, The Rise of Silas Lapham Hughes, James Langston, “Harlem,” “Theme for English B,” etc. Hurston, Zora Neale, Their Eyes Were Watching God Huxley, Aldous, Brave New World Ibsen, Henrik, A Doll’s House, The Wild Duck Ionesco, Eugene, The Lesson, Rhinoceros Irving, Washington, “Rip Van Winkle,” “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” James, Henry, “The Real Thing,” The Ambassadors, The Art of Fiction, The Turn of the Screw, The Beast in the Jungle, The Golden Bowl, The Portrait of a Lady, Daisy Miller Johnson, Samuel, “The Vanity of Human Wishes” Jonson, Ben, “On My First Son,” “Perfection in Small Things,” “Pleasure Reconciled to Virtue,” “To the Reader,” Volpone or The Fox Joyce, James, Dubliners, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Ulysses Kafka, Franz, “A Hunger Artist,” The Metamorphosis, The Trial Keats, John. “Endymion,” “The Eve of St. Agnes,” Isabella, “La Belle Dame sans Merci,” “Ode on a Grecian Urn,” “Ode on Melancholy,” “Ode to a Nightingale,” “On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer” Kerouac, Jack, On the Road Lawrence, D. H., Sons and Lovers, “The Rocking-Horse Winner” Locke, John, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth, “The Song of Hiawatha” Lowell, Robert, “For the Union Dead,” “Mr. Edwards and the Spider,” “The Quaker Graveyard in Nantucket” Machiavelli, Niccolo, The Prince MacLeish, Archibald, “Ars Poetica” Malory, Sir Thomas, Le Morte D’Arthur Mansfield, Katherine, “Bliss,” “The Garden Party” Marlowe, Christopher, Doctor Faustus, “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love,” Tamburlaine the Great Marvell, Andrew, “To His Coy Mistress” Melville, Herman, “Bartleby the Scrivener,” “Benito Cereno,” Moby Dick


121. 122. 123. 124. 125. 126. 127. 128. 129. 130. 131. 132. 133. 134. 135. 136. 137. 138. 139. 140. 141. 142. 143. 144. 145. 146. 147. 148. 149. 150. 151. 152. 153. 154. 155. 156. 157. 158. 159. 160.

161. 162. 163. 164. 165. 166. 167. 168. 169. 170. 171. 172. 173. 174. 175. 176. 177. 178. 179. 180. 181.

Meredith, George, The Egoist Mill, John Stuart, On Liberty Miller, Arthur, The Crucible, Death of a Salesman Milton, John, “Lycidas,” Paradise Lost, Samson Agonistes Moliere, Tartuffe More, Sir Thomas, Utopia Morrison, Toni, Beloved, Song of Solomon Nabokov, Vladimir, Lolita Naipaul, V.S., The Mystic Masseur, A House for Mr. Biswas O’Connor, Flannery “A Good Man Is Hard to Find,” “Revelation,” “Everything that Rises Must Converge,” “The Life You Save May Be Your Own,” “Good Country People” O’Connor, Frank, “Guests of the Nation” O’Neill, Eugene, Desire Under the Elms, The Hairy Ape, The Ice-man Cometh, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Mourning Becomes Electra Orwell, George, 1984, Animal Farm, “Shooting an Elephant,” “Politics and the English Language” Owen, Wilfred, “Dulce et Decorum Est” Paine, Thomas, Common Sense, The Crisis, no.1, The Age of Reason Pater, Walter, The Renaissance Peacock, Thomas Love, Nightmare Abbey Pinter, Harold, The Caretaker, The Homecoming Plath, Sylvia, The Bell Jar, “Daddy,” “Lady Lazarus” Plato, The Republic Poe, Edgar Allan, “Annabel Lee,” “The Murders on the Rue Morgue,” “The Raven,” “The Purloined Letter,” “Tell Tale Heart,” “Fall of the House of Usher” Pope, Alexander, “An Essay on Criticism,” ‘An Essay on Man,” “The Rape of the Lock,” “The Dunciad” Pound, Ezra, “In a Station of the Metro,” “A Retrospect,” “Hugh Selwyn Mauberly,” “Canto I,” “The River-Merchant’s Wife: A Letter” Proust, Marcel, Remembrance of Things Past Pynchon, Thomas, The Crying of Lot 49, Gravity’s Rainbow Radcliffe, Mrs. Ann, The Mysteries of Udolpho Raleigh, Sir Walter “The Author’s Epitaph, Made by Himself,” “The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd,” “Sir Walter Raleigh to His Son” Ransom, John Crowe, “Bells for John Whiteside’s Daughter,” “Janet Waking,” “Piazza Piece” Richardson, Samuel, Pamela: or Virtue Rewarded Roethke, Theodore, “Root Cellar,” “My Papa’s Waltz” Rossetti, Dante Gabriel, “The Blessed Damozel” Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, Confessions, The Social Contract Ruskin, John, The Stones of Venice Salinger, J.D., The Catcher in the Rye Sandburg, Carl, “Chicago,” “Fog” Sartre, Jean-Paul, Nausea, No Exit, The Flies Scott, Sir Walter, Ivanhoe “The Seafarer” The Second Shepherd’s Play Shakespeare, William, Antony and Cleopatra, As You Like It, Comedy of Errors, Hamlet, Henry IV Part I, Henry IV Part II, Henry V, Julius Caesar, King Lear, Macbeth, The Merchant of Venice, Othello, Pericles, Romeo and Juliet, Sonnets 18, 55, 75, 116, & 130, The Tempest, Twelfth Night, Winter’s Tale Shaw, George Bernard, Arms and the Man, A Dramatic Realist to His Critics, Major Barbara, Pygmalion Shelley, Mary, Frankenstein Shelley, Percy Bysshe, “Adonais,” “Mont Blanc,” “Ode to the West Wind,” “Ozymandias,” Prometheus Unbound, “To a Skylark,” Sheridan, Richard Brinsley, The Rivals, The School for Scandal Sidney, Sir Philip, Astrophel and Stella, The Defence of Poesie Sinclair, Upton, The Jungle Singer, Isaac Bashevis, Gimpel the Fool Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Sophocles, Antigone, Oedipus the King Spenser, Edmund, Amoretti, “Epithalamion,” The Faerie Queene, Shepheardes Calendar Stein, Gertrude, Three Lives Steinbeck, John, The Grapes of Wrath Sterne, Laurence, Tristram Shandy Stevens, Wallace, “Sunday Morning,” “The Emperor of Ice Cream,” “Thirteen Ways of Looking at A Blackbird,” “Anecdote of the Jar,” “The Snow Man” “Of Mere Being” Stevenson, Robert Louis, Kidnapped, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde Stoppard, Tom, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead Stowe, Harriet Beecher, Uncle Tom’s Cabin Strindberg, August, Miss Julie Swift, Jonathan, The Battle of the Books, Gulliver’s Travels, “A Modest Proposal” Synge, John M., The Playboy of the Western World Tennyson, Alfred, 1st Baron. “Break, Break, Break,” In Memoriam A.H.H., “The Lady of Shalott,” “The Lotos-Eaters,” “Mariana,” “Ulysses”


182. 183. 184. 185. 186. 187. 188. 189. 190. 191. 192. 193. 194. 195. 196. 197. 198. 199. 200. 201. 202. 203. 204. 205. 206. 207.

Thomas, Dylan, “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night,” “Fern Hill” Thoreau, Henry David, Civil Disobedience, Walden Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War Thurber, James, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” Tolstoy, Leo, Anna Karenina, War and Peace, What is Art? Toomer, Jean, Cane Twain, Mark, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer, Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, Puddin’ Head Wilson Virgil, The Aeneid Voltaire, Candide Vonnegut, Kurt Jr., Slaughterhouse-Five Walker, Alice, The Color Purple, “Everyday Use” Warren, Robert Penn, All the King’s Men, “Blow West Wind” Webster, John, Duchess of Malfi Welty Eudora. Delta Wedding, “Why I Live at the P0.” Wharton, Edith, The House of Mirth, The Age of Innocence, Ethan Frome Wheatley, Phillis, “On Being Brought from Africa to America,” “To the University of Cambridge in New England” Whitman, Walt, Democratic Vistas, “Pioneers! O Pioneers!,” “Song of Myself,” “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer,” “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d,” “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” Wilde, Oscar, The Ballad of Reading Gaol, The Critic as Artist, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Picture of Dorian Gray Williams, Tennessee, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire Williams, William Carlos. “The Red Wheelbarrow,” “The Young Housewife,” “Asphodel, That Greeny Flower,” “This is Just to Say” Wollstonecraft, Mary, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman Woolf, Virginia, Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, A Room of One’s Own Wordsworth, William, The Excursion, “Preface to Lyrical Ballads,” The Prelude, “She Dwelt among the Untrodden Ways,” “Tintern Abbey,” “The World Is Too Much with Us” Wright, Richard, Black Boy, Native Son Wycherley, William, The Country-Wife Yeats, William Butler. “Crazy Jane and the Bishop,” “The Dolls,” “The Lake Isle of Innisfree,” “Leda and the Swan,” “Sailing to Byzantium,” “The Second Coming,” “When You Are Old,” “The Wild Swans at Coole,” “Among School Children,” “The Circus Animals Desertion,” “Lapis Lazuli,” “Adam’s Curse,” “Dialog of Self and Soul”


/AA_English_GRE_Suggested_reading_List  

http://www.uscb.edu/academics/undergraduate/english/docs/AA_English_GRE_Suggested_reading_List.pdf

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