An Unrequired Reading List

Anyone who is considering graduate study ought to be taking courses beyond the required eleven, covering both the traditional and the expanded canon. The department urges those students considering graduate school to read widely, well beyond the books required in their courses. A review book for the subject test lists several pages of titles that have appeared in the test; more realistically, you might aim to read the authors listed in the modest (and somewhat arbitrary) "Top 100" list below.

Anon.: Everyman or Second Shepherd's Play
Anon.: Beowulf
Anon.: Bible (King James Version): Genesis, the Gospel According to Saint Matthew, Revelation
Anon.: Sir. Gawain and the Green Knight
Arnold: "The Function of Criticism at the Present Time" and selected poems
Atwood: Surfacing
Austen: Emma or Pride and Prejudice
Baudelaire: Selected Poems
Beckett: Waiting for Godot
Behn: The Rover or Oroonoko
Blake: Songs of Innocence and of Experience
Borges: Selected stories and essays
Boswell: Life of Johnson (selections)
Bradstreet: Selected poetry
Brontë: Wuthering Heights
Brontë: Jane Eyre
Browne: Religio Medici
Browning, R.: Selected Poems
Bunyan: Pilgrim's Progress
Byron: Selected Poems
Calvino: The Baron in the Trees
Carlyle: Sartor Resartus (selections)
Cather: My Antonia
Cervantes: Don Quixote
Chaucer: Canterbury Tales
Chopin: The Awakening
Coleridge: Selected poems including "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner"
Congreve: The Way of the World
Conrad: Heart of Darkness or Lord Jim
Crane : The Red Badge of Courage
Dante: The Divine Comedy: The Inferno
Defoe: Moll Flanders or Robinson Crusoe
DeQuincey: Confessions of an English Opium Eater
Dickens: Great Expectations or David Copperfield
Dickinson :Selected poetry
Donne: Selected poetry
Douglass: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Dryden: "Essay of Dramatic Poesy"
Eliot, T.S.: Selected poetry
Eliot, G.: The Mill on the Floss
Ellison: Invisible Man
Emerson: Selected poetry and essays
Faulkner: The Sound and the Fury
Fielding: Tom Jones or Joseph Andrews
Fitzgerald: The Great Gatsby
Forster : A Passage to India or Howard's End
Franklin: Autobiography
Frost: Selected poetry
Hardy: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
Hawthorne: The Scarlet Letter and selected stories
Hemingway : In Our Time
Homer: The Iliad and The Odyssey
Hopkins: Selected poems
Irving: The Sketch Book
James: Portrait of a Lady, The Turn of the Screw, or What Maisie Knew
Jewett: The Country of the Pointed Firs
Johnson: Rasselas
Joyce: Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Kafka: Selected stories
Keats: Selected letters and poems
Kingston: Woman Warrior
Lamb: Essays of Elia
Lawrence: Sons and Lovers and The Rainbow
Lessing, D.: Selected stories
Lowell, R.: Selected poems
Marlowe: Doctor Faustus
Marvell: Selected poems
Melville: Moby-Dick
Milton: Paradise Lost (selections) and selected shorter poems
Morrison: Beloved or Song of Solomon
Olsen: Tell Me a Riddle
O'Neill: A Long Day's Journey into Night
Orwell: 1984
Plath: Selected poems
Poe: Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque
Pope: The Rape of the Lock and other selected poems
Pound: Selected poems
Richardson: Clarissa or Pamela
Ruskin: Selected essays
Shakespeare: As You Like It, Hamlet, 1 Henry IV, The Tempest  orWinter's Tale, Macbeth, sonnets
Shaw: Heartbreak House or Pygmalion
Shelley, P.B. : Selected poetry
Shelley, M.: Frankenstein
Sidney: Defence of Poesy
Silko: Ceremony
Spenser: The Faerie Queene (selections)
Sterne: Tristram Shandy
Swift: Gulliver's Travels, "A Modest Proposal," selected poems
Tennyson: Selected poems
Thackeray: Vanity Fair
Thomas, D. : Selected poems
Thoreau: Walden
Twain: Huckleberry Finn
Virgil: The Aeneid
Walcott: Another Life
Wells: Selected stories
Wharton: The Age of Innocence
Whitman: Leaves of Grass
Wilde: The Importance of Being Earnest or The Picture of Dorian Gray
Williams: A Streetcar Named Desire
Woolf: To the Lighthouse or Mrs. Dalloway
Wordsworth: The Prelude (selections) and selected poems
Wright: Black Boy or Native Son
Yeats: Selected poems

There is no short-cut to becoming familiar with literary and critical terminology, but you might begin with a book such as M. H. Abrams' Glossary of Literary Terms. The sixth edition includes helpful short essays on various critical approaches and types of literary theory.