|UNDERGRADUTE READING LIST
Students often ask for reading lists to help guide them in expanding their knowledge of literature. Below is a list of suggested reading for undergraduate English majors.
You may cover a number of these in your university courses. You may want to fill in with the others as you have time for free reading, to make yourself a truly well-read English major.
Do not be dismayed if you are a recent convert to literature or if you have simply read other things. The list is not required reading. But if you have covered a number of the works on the list, you will be on the way to being well educated and will, furthermore, be well prepared should you choose to attend graduate school.
Fiction: World Literature
(It is very important to read these works in a translation that is not stilted. That means, for example, avoiding translations of Greek classics that use "Thee" and "Thou.")
Aeschylus. Prometheus Bound, Agamemnon
Aristotle. The Poetics
Aurelius, Marcus. Meditations
Balzac, Honore de. Old Goriot (Pere Goriot)
Beckett, Samuel, Waiting for Godot or Endgame
Brecht, Bertolt. The Caucasian Chalk Circle
Camus, Albert. The Stranger
Cervantes, Miguel. Don Quixote
Chekhov, Anton. The Cherry Orchard, The Sea Gull, or The Three Sisters
Dante [Alghieri]. The Divine Comedy
Dostoevsky, Fyodor. The Brothers Karamazov, Crime and Punishment
Euripides. The Bacchae, Medea, Alcestis, Electra
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang. Faust
Herodotus. The Histories
Hesse, Hermann. Steppenwolf
Homer. The Iliad, The Odyssey
Ibsen, Henrik. A Doll House
Machiavelli, Niccolo. The Prince
Mann, Thomas. Death in Venice, selected stories
Marquez, Gabriel Garcia. One Hundred Years of Solitude
Molière. Tartuffe, The Misanthrope (R. Wilbur translations)
Neruda, Pablo. Canto General
Plato. Several dialogues, including Crito, Phaedo, Symposium, Timaeus, The Republic
Rilke, Rainer Maria. Duino Elegies
Sophocles. Oedipus Rex, Antigone, Electra
Strindberg, August. A Dream Play
Tolstoy, Leo Nikolayevich. War and Peace, Anna Karenina
Virgil. The Aeneid
Fiction: English and American Literature
Adams, Henry. The Education of Henry Adams
Angelou, Maya. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice or Emma
Baldwin, James. Collected Essays
Bellow, Saul. Herzog or Mr. Sammler's Planet
Beowulf (in translation)
Boswell, James. The Life of Samuel Johnson
Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre
Bronte, Emily. Wuthering Heights
Bunyan, John. Pilgrim's Progress
Carlyle, Thomas. "The Everlasting No," "The Center of Indifference," and "The Everlasting Yea," from Sartor Resartus
Cather, Willa. My Antonia
Chaucer, Geoffrey. From The Canterbury Tales: The General Prologue, "The Pardoner's Tale," "The Nun's Priest's Tale, " "The Franklin's Tale," "The Wife of Bath's Tale"
Chopin, Kate. The Awakening
Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness , Nostromo
Crane, Stephen. The Red Badge of Courage
Defoe, Daniel. Moll Flanders or Robinson Crusoe
Dickens, Charles. Great Expectations or David Copperfield or Bleak House
Drabble, Margaret. The Realms of Gold or The Radiant Way
Eliot, George. Middlemarch or The Mill on the Floss
Ellison, Ralph. Invisible Man
Emerson, Ralph Waldo. Nature, "Self-Reliance," "The American Scholar," “Experience”
Faulkner, William. The Sound and the Fury, "The Bear," or Absalom, Absalom!
Fielding, Henry. Tom Jones
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby
Gates, Henry Louis, Jr., ed. The Classic Slave Narratives
Gaskell, Elizabeth. Cranford
Goldsmith, Oliver. She Stoops to Conquer, or The Vicar of Wakefield
Hardy, Thomas. The Return of the Native or Tess of the D'Urbervilles
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Scarlet Letter, "Young Goodman Brown," "My Kinsman, Major Molineux"
Hemingway, Ernest. The Sun Also Rises or A Farewell to Arms
Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God
Irving, Washington. "Rip Van Winkle," "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"
James, Henry. The Portrait of a Lady and Daisy Miller or The Turn of the Screw
Joyce, James. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Dubliners
Lawrence, D. H. Sons and Lovers or Women in Love or The Rainbow
LeGuin, Ursula. The Left Hand of Darkness
Melville, Herman. Moby-Dick
Miller, Arthur. The Death of a Salesman
Morrison, Toni. Beloved or Song of Solomon
Nabokov, Vladimir. Lolita or Pale Fire
Naylor, Gloria. Mama Day
O'Connor, Flannery. "Greenleaf," "A Good Man Is Hard to Find"
O'Neill, Eugene. A Long Day's Journey into Night
Osborne, John. Look Back in Anger
Pinter, Harold. The Homecoming
Poe, Edgar Allan. "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," "The Fall of the House of Usher," "The Masque of the Red Death," "The Purloined Letter," "The Cask of Amontillado"
Porter, Katherine Anne. "Flowering Judas," Pale Horse, Pale Rider
Rhys, Jean. Wide Sargasso Sea
Shakespeare, William. Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, Macbeth, The Merchant of Venice, Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Sonnets, Twelfth Night, The Tempest
Shaw, Bernard. Major Barbara or Saint Joan
Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein
Sheridan, Richard B. The Rivals or The School for Scandal
Silko, Leslie Marmon. Ceremony
Steinbeck, John. The Grapes of Wrath
Swift, Jonathan. Gulliver's Travels, "A Modest Proposal"
Thackeray, William Makepeace. Vanity Fair
Thoreau, Henry David. Walden, “Resistance to Civil Government”
Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Vonnegut, Kurt. Cat's Cradle or Slaughterhouse-Five
Walker, Alice. The Color Purple
West, Cornel. Race Matters
Wilde, Oscar. The Importance of Being Earnest
Williams, Tennessee. The Glass Menagerie or A Streetcar Named Desire
Wilson, August. Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
Woolf, Virginia. To the Lighthouse or Mrs. Dalloway
Wright, Richard. Native Son
Arnold, Matthew. "Dover Beach," "The Forsaken Merman," "The Scholar Gypsy"
Auden, W.H. "In Memory of W.B. Yeats" and "The Wanderer"
Blake, William. Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience
Brooks, Gwendolyn. "We Real Cool," "A Song in the Front Yard," "Sadie and Maude," "The Lovers of the Poor"
Browning, Robert. "My Last Duchess," "The Bishop Orders His Tomb," "Fra Lippo Lippi," "Andrea del Sarto"
Burns, Robert. "Tam O'Shanter," "To a Mouse," "A Red, Red, Rose"
Byron, George Gordon (Lord Byron). Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, Cantos 3 and 4, The Vision of Judgment, Don Juan, Dedication and Canto 1
Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," "Kubla Khan"
Cullen, Countee. "Yet Do I Marvel," "Incident," "Heritage"
Dickinson, Emily. "Because I Could Not Stop for Death," "Of Bronze and Blaze," "After Great Pain," "This World is Not Conclusion," "What Soft Cherubic Creatures"
Donne, John. "Go and Catch a Falling Star," "The Canonization," "The Ecstasy," "Valediction Forbidding Mourning," "The Flea"
Dryden, John. "Mac Flecknoe," Religio Laici
Eliot, T. S. "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," The Waste Land
Frost, Robert. "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening," "Mending Wall," "The Death of the Hired Man," "The Road Not Taken," "Acquainted with the Night," "Birches," "Fire and Ice," "Desert Places," "Design"
Hayden, Robert. "Middle Passage," "Night, Death, Mississippi," "Those Winter Sundays"
Herbert, George. "The Collar," "The Pulley"
Hopkins, Gerard Manley. "The Windhover," "Spring and Fall: To a Young Child," "God's Grandeur"
Hughes, Langston. "Mother to Son," "The Weary Blues," "The Negro Speaks of Rivers," "Montage of a Dream Deferred"
Keats, John. "The Eve of St. Agnes," "La Belle Dame Sans Merci," "Ode on a Grecian Urn," "Ode on Melancholy," "Ode to a Nightingale," "To Autumn"
Larkin, Philip. “Church Going,” “High Windows”
Lorde, Audre. "Coal," "From the House of Yemanja"
Lovelace, Richard. "To Lucasta, Going to the Wars," "To Althea from Prison"
Marvell, Andrew. "To His Coy Mistress," "The Garden," “Bermudas,” the Mower poems
Milton, John. Comus, "Lycidas," Paradise Lost, Samson Agonistes
Poe, Edgar Allan. "To Helen," "The City in the Sea," "The Raven"
Pope, Alexander. The Rape of the Lock, An Essay on Man
Pound, Ezra. “Hugh Selwyn Mauberley,” “The River Merchant’s Wife,” selected Cantos
Shelley, Percy Bysshe. "Hymn to Intellectual Beauty," "Adonais," "Ode to the West Wind"
Stevens, Wallace. "Anecdote of the Jar," "Sunday Morning," "The Emperor of Ice Cream," “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird”
Tennyson, Alfred. In Memoriam, "Ulysses," "The Lady of Shalott," "Tithonus," "The Lotus Eaters"
Thomas, Dylan. "Fern Hill," "A Refusal to Mourn the Death, by Fire, of a Child in London"
Toomer, Jean. Cane
Wheatley, Phyllis. "On Being Brought from Africa to America"
Whitman, Walt. "I Hear America Singing," "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry," "Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking," "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d," "Song of Myself"
Williams, William Carlos. "The Red Wheelbarrow," "Spring and All (by the Road to the Contagious Hospital)," “The Yachts,” Paterson, Book 1
Wordsworth, William. "Tintern Abbey," "My Heart Leaps Up," "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud," "Ode on Intimations of Immortality," "The World Is Too Much with Us," The Prelude: Books 1 and 2, Preface to 1800 edition of Lyrical Ballads
Yeats, William Butler. "Leda and the Swan," "Sailing to Byzantium," "Crazy Jane Talks with the Bishop,"
"The Second Coming," "Among School Children"