Advanced Literature

Textbooks used in the 1st Quarter:

  1. Marcus Aurelius, MeditationsTranslated by Martin Hammond.  Penguin Books, 2006
  2. Elie Wiesel, Night.  Translated by Marion Wiesel.  Hill and Wang, 2006.
  3. Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass.  Dover Thrift Editions, 1995

Textbooks used in the 2nd Quarter:

  1. Plato Six Pack
  2. Mere Christianity
  3. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich


  1. Thomas More, Utopia.  1516  (orig. Latin)
  2. Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart.  1958
  3. Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy.  1308-21†  (orig. Italian)
  4. Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice.  1813
  5. James Arthur Baldwin, Go Tell It on the Mountain.  1953
  6. Beowulf.  8th-10th Cent.?§  (orig. Anglo-Saxon)
  7. The Bible.  6th Cent. BC to 2nd Cent. AD‡  (orig. Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek)
  8. Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451.  1953
  9. Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales.  Ca. 1400∫  (orig. Middle English)
  10. Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness.  1903
  11. The Constitution of the United States. 1787⌂
  12.  Stephen Crane, The Red Badge of Courage.  1895
  13.  Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species.  1859**
  14.  Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol.  1843
  15.  Charles Dickens, Great Expectations.  1861
  16.  Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment.  1866††  (orig. Russian)
  17.   Thomas Stearns Eliot, The Waste Land1922
  18.  Francis Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby.  1925
  19.  Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl.  1947  (orig. Dutch)
  20.  Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude.  1967  (orig. Spanish)
  21.  William Golding, Lord of the Flies.  1954
  22.  [Alexander Hamilton, John Jay & James Madison], The Federalist. 1788§§
  23.  Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter.  1850
  24.  Joseph Heller, Catch-22.  1961
  25.  Mark Helprin, Ellis Island and Other Stories.  1981
  26.  Mark Helprin, A Soldier of the Great War.  1991
  27.  Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea. 1952
  28.  Homer, The Odyssey.  8th Cent. BC‡‡  (orig. Greek)
  29.  Aldous Huxley, Brave New World1932
  30.  James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.  1916
  31.  Martin Luther King, Jr., “I Have a Dream.”  1963
  32.  Martin Luther King, Jr., “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” 1963
  33.  Arthur Koestler, Darkness at Noon.  1940
  34.  Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird.  1960
  35.  Thomas Mann, Death in Venice1912  (orig. German)
  36.  Herman Melville, Moby-Dick.  1851
  37.  Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon. 1977
  38.  “George Orwell” (Eric Blair), Animal Farm.  1943
  39.  “George Orwell” (Eric Blair), 1984.  1948
  40.  Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front. 1929  (orig. German)
  41.  Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Night Flight.  1931 (orig. French)
  42.  Jerome David Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye1951
  43.  “William Shakespeare”, Macbeth. 1623∫∫
  44.  “William Shakespeare”, Othello.  1622∫∫
  45.  “William Shakespeare”, Romeo and Juliet.  1597∫∫
  46.  Mary Shelley, Frankenstein. 1818
  47.  Upton Sinclair, The Jungle.  1906
  48.  Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.  1961 (orig. Russian)
  49.  John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath.  1939
  50.  John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men.  1937
  51.  Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin.  1852
  52.  Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels.  1726
  53.  Amy Tan, The Joy Luck Club.  1989
  54.  Henry David Thoreau, Walden.  1854
  55.  Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War.  410 BC  (orig. Greek)
  56.  “Mark Twain” (Samuel Langhorne Clemens), Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. 1885
  57.  Robert Penn Warren, All the King’s Men.  1946
  58.  Herman Wouk, The Caine Mutiny.  1951


*     The following selection corresponds roughly to what an American high-school student might reasonably be expected to encounter, however superficially,  over four years of study.  Dates given here are those of original publication; there are of course many more recent printings available for most of these items. 

†     Best English version is the translation by John Ciardi, 1954-70.

§     Anonymous; by far the best translation (in a parallel text) is Seamus Heaney’s (2000).

‡    There are, of course, many versions of the Bible in English; always be sure to cite at least the individual book, e.g. “Genesis”, “Psalms”, “Gospel of Matthew”.

∫     Middle English is quite removed from modern in both orthography and pronunciation; A. S. Kline’s modern verse rendering is quite adequate.

⌂    Including the Bill of Rights (1789); always cite by article number or number of amendment, e.g. First, Fifth, etc.

**   This was the first edition; five more were overseen by Darwin before his death.

††  The 1992 translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky is superior.

§§  Papers 10, 85 and 87 are especially important.

‡‡  Verse translations by Richard Lattimore (1965) and Robert Fagles (1996) are highly recommended.

∫∫    Contrary to the mainstream belief, two recent biographers of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford (1550-1604), champion their subject as the “real Shakespeare” most persuasively:  Charlton Ogburn Jr., The Mysterious William Shake-

speare (1984) and Mark Anderson, “Shakespeare” by Another Name (2005).

NOTE:  Unless your high school English teacher has clearly indicated a favorable attitude toward the anti-Stratfordian view, you should definitely NOT bring up the identity question in class.  Even though you may have actually read the two works of scholarship mentioned above (and are thereby almost certainly better educated on the issue than your teacher is!), prudence counsels silence on this “hot” topic.