Nobel Laureates in Literature

Since 1901, the Nobel Prize in Literature has celebrated the most distinguished authors from around the world. This collection of study guides features literary works by past and present Nobel prize-winners in literature, including but not limited to Louise Glück, Toni Morrison, Kazuo Ishiguro, Alice Munro, and Gabriel García Márquez.

Publication year 1979Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Indian Literature, Asian Literature

A Bend in The River, the 1974 novel by Nobel Prize winner VS Naipaul, takes place in an unnamed postcolonial African town. The main character, Salim, narrates the story, which begins when he moves away from his family to the interior of the country to run a town shop. Salim is of Muslim Indian descent, but his family has lived in coastal Africa for many generations. He is neither fully Muslim Indian nor fully African. Salim... Read A Bend In The River Summary

Publication year 1936Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Identity: Race, Society: Nation, Society: War, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Classic Fiction, Historical Fiction, Southern Gothic, American Civil War

William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom! (1936) is one of the many texts in Faulkner’s oeuvre that is set in the fictional Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi. Faulkner is considered one of the greatest writers of the 20th century, a designation earned due to his innovative and stylistic modernist techniques, which he uses to investigate the history and identity of the American South. Faulkner, who grew up in Mississippi and spent the majority of his life there, was deeply... Read Absalom, Absalom Summary

Publication year 1970Genre Play, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Play: Drama, Play: Comedy / Satire, Italian Literature

Accidental Death of an Anarchist was first written and produced by playwright and actor Dario Fo in Italy, 1970. The script was directly inspired by the events surrounding the 1969 Piazza Fontana Bombing, and much of Fo’s work revolves around political satire directed at Italy post-World War II and later. Exemplifying Fo’s work as a writer, Accidental Death of an Anarchist combines the humor, irony, and satire of the old Italian tradition of commedia dell’arte... Read Accidental Death Of An Anarchist Summary

Publication year 1926Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Life/Time: Aging, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness

Ernest Hemingway’s short story “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” was first published in Scribner’s Magazine in March of 1933. It was then anthologized in Hemingway’s 1933 short story collection Winner Takes Nothing. It is regarded as one of his most important and influential short stories and as a clear example of his “Iceberg Theory” and his focus on typical Modernist existential themes. Utilizing the Iceberg Theory, Hemingway allows most of the story to sit below the... Read A Clean, Well-Lighted Place Summary

Publication year 1963Genre Play, FictionThemes Society: ColonialismTags Play: Postcolonial, Allegory / Fable / Parable, History: African , Politics / Government, African Literature, Colonialism / Postcolonialism

Written and first performed in 1960 as part of the national celebrations of Nigeria’s independence from Britain, A Dance of the Forests features a unique combination of classically European dramatic elements and traditional Yoruba masquerade traditions which make the play resistant to both staging and traditional Western criticism. Since 1960, few attempts have been made to perform the play, due to its complexity and ambiguity. A Dance of the Forests presents an allegorical criticism of... Read A Dance of the Forests Summary

Publication year 1933Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Relationships: Fathers, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Identity: Masculinity, Values/Ideas: FateTags Classic Fiction, Health / Medicine

Publication year 1955Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Values/Ideas: Fate, Society: Class, Society: Colonialism, Society: Politics & Government, Society: War, Society: Nation, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Order & Chaos, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Emotions/Behavior: ConflictTags Allegory / Fable / Parable, Classic Fiction, Historical Fiction, WWI / World War I, Military / War

Publication year 1983Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Relationships: SiblingsTags Japanese Literature, Grief / Death, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, History: Asian

Kazuo Ishiguro is an English and Japanese author who is most well-known for prizewinning novels such as The Remains of the Day (1989) and Never Let Me Go (2005), the latter of which was adapted into a film in 2010. “A Family Supper” is a 1983 short story that was originally published in a volume of Ishiguro’s works, titled Firebird 2: Writing Today. The short story begins when an unnamed narrator returns to his homeland... Read A Family Supper Summary

Publication year 1929Genre Novel, FictionTags The Lost Generation, Modernism, American Literature

A Farewell to Arms, written by Ernest Hemingway and published in 1929, is the story of Frederic Henry, an officer with the Italian army in World War I, and his relationship with Catherine Barkley, a British nurse. Some have noted the similarities between the main character and Hemingway, who also served in the Italian army as an ambulance driver in 1918, and his nurse, Agnes Von Kurowsky, who cared for Hemingway after he was wounded.The... Read A Farewell to Arms Summary

Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Colonialism, Relationships: Marriage, Society: War, Identity: Femininity, Identity: RaceTags Historical Fiction, Military / War, Colonialism / Postcolonialism, Race / Racism, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 1971Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: ApathyTags Philosophy, Existentialism

Publication year 1945Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Philosophy, Religion / Spirituality, Politics / Government, History: European

Publication year 1961Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Life/Time: Birth, Identity: Mental Health, Life/Time: Aging, Life/Time: The Past, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Life/Time: Midlife, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Relationships: Fathers, Relationships: Marriage, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Fate, Values/Ideas: Equality, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Society: Class, Society: Colonialism, Society: Community, Self Discovery, Values/Ideas: Literature, Society: EconomicsTags Historical Fiction, Auto/Biographical Fiction, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Poverty, Finance / Money / Wealth, Depression / Suicide, Class, Colonialism / Postcolonialism, Indian Literature

A House for Mr. Biswas is a 1961 novel by V. S. Naipaul. The story takes a postcolonial perspective of the life of a Hindu Indian man in British-owned and occupied Trinidad. Now regarded as one of Naipaul's most significant novels, A House for Mr. Biswas has won numerous awards and has been adapted as a musical, a radio drama, and a television show. This guide is written using an eBook version of the 2001... Read A House for Mr. Biswas Summary

Publication year 2008Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: SiblingsTags Historical Fiction, Existentialism

Published in 2008, A Mercy is Toni Morrison’s ninth novel. Morrison, both a prolific scholar and author, centers the question of slavery and a pre-racial America in this fictional novel. A Mercy was chosen as one of the best books in the year of its release by the New York Times. Plot SummaryA Mercy endeavors to explore the experiences of slaves in early America. The narrative frequently changes focus between different characters who live or... Read A Mercy Summary

Publication year 1964Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Literature, Relationships: FriendshipTags Travel Literature, American Literature

A Moveable Feast was written by Ernest Hemingway and published posthumously in 1964, three years after his death. The title, A Moveable Feast, is a play on the term used for holy days that do not consistently fall on the same date every year. The memoir’s structure mirrors this concept, featuring 20 separate yet related stories that make up Hemingway’s own collection of inconsistent holy days. The memoir blends fact with fiction as Hemingway recalls... Read A Moveable Feast Summary

Publication year 1982Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Identity: Gender, Relationships: MothersTags Historical Fiction, Gender / Feminism, Immigration / Refugee, British Literature, Japanese Literature

A Pale View of Hills (1982) is Kazuo Ishiguro’s first novel. Born in Nagasaki in 1954, Ishiguro immigrated with his family to the United Kingdom when he was five years old. Despite his family’s Japanese origins, the author frequently states in interviews that his experience with Japanese culture is very limited, as he spent all his adult life in England. Simultaneously, however, growing up in a Japanese family developed in Ishiguro a different perspective compared... Read A Pale View of Hills Summary

Publication year 1930Genre Short Story, FictionTags Southern Gothic

Published in 1930, “A Rose for Emily” is one of American author William Faulkner’s most popular short stories and was his first to appear in a national magazine. Like many of Faulkner’s other works, “A Rose for Emily” takes place in the fictional town of Jefferson, which is based on Faulkner’s hometown of Oxford, Mississippi. Through the titular character Emily Grierson, Faulkner explores the complex relationships between individuals and society in the American South, and... Read A Rose for Emily Summary

Publication year 1930Genre Poem, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Self Discovery, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Natural World: Appearance & RealityTags Narrative / Epic Poem, Religion / Spirituality

Publication year 1924Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Society: War, Self DiscoveryTags Classic Fiction, Romance, WWI / World War I, The Lost Generation

“A Very Short Story” is one of Ernest Hemingway’s earliest literary works. It originally appeared as one of 18 vignettes that made up the chapbook in our time, published in 1924. The story was later republished, along with the original vignettes and 14 additional short stories, in a new and expanded edition of In Our Time in 1925. This guide refers to that later edition. “A Very Short Story” is semi-autobiographical, based loosely upon Hemingway’s... Read A Very Short Story Summary

Publication year 1925Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Literature, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Self Discovery, Values/Ideas: ArtTags Philosophy, Irish Literature

Publication year 1963Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Identity: Sexuality, Identity: Gender, Society: Class, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & AngerTags Gender / Feminism, Post-War Era, British Literature

Originally published in 1963 in the short story collection A Man and Two Women, “A Woman on a Roof” by Doris Lessing emerged during a time of social and political upheaval in the Western world. Like many of Lessing’s other works, the story explores the effects of class inequality and the misunderstandings between men and women that arise in a patriarchal culture. Lessing was born in former Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and moved to London... Read A Woman on a Roof Summary

Publication year 1983Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Society: ClassTags Magical Realism, Classic Fiction, Arts / Culture, Business / Economics, Class, Latin American Literature, Post Modernism

Publication year 1939Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Relationships: Fathers, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Historical Fiction, American Literature

First published in Harper’s magazine in 1939, William Faulkner’s short story “Barn Burning” comments upon inheritance, loyalty, and the heavy bonds that link fathers and sons. Many of Faulkner’s writings, including his short stories and novels, are set in fictional Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi, which is based loosely upon Lafayette County. The Snopes family, who are the main characters in “Barn Burning,” appear in many of Faulkner’s other short stories and novels.The story opens in a... Read Barn Burning Summary

Publication year 1943Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Fate, Self Discovery, Values/Ideas: Good & EvilTags Philosophy, Existentialism, French Literature, Absurdism

Being and Nothingness: An Essay in Phenomenological Ontology (1943) by Jean-Paul Sartre is a foundational text for the philosophical movement of existentialism. Sartre, a 20th-century writer and philosopher, wrote Being and Nothingness while in a prisoner of war camp during World War II. Being and Nothingness addresses theories of consciousness, nothingness, self-identity, essences, and freedom. Sartre’s work builds upon a legacy of existentialist theories while defining and shaping them into a comprehensive ideology. He challenges... Read Being and Nothingness Summary

Publication year 1987Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Relationships: Daughters & SonsTags Magical Realism, Race / Racism, American Literature, Existentialism, African American Literature

Toni Morrison’s Beloved was published in 1987. The novel won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and was a finalist for the National Book Award. Inspired by the real-life story of a runaway African American enslaved woman named Margaret Garner, who killed her own daughter to prevent her capture and enslavement, Beloved tells the story of Sethe, a runaway enslaved woman who takes her daughter’s life in the same manner. This study guide, which addresses physical... Read Beloved Summary

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Transl. Seamus Heaney
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Publication year 1000Genre Novel/Book in Verse, FictionTags Classic Fiction, British Literature, Medieval Literature / Middle Ages

Beowulf is an epic poem written in Old English by an anonymous author around the year 1000 CE. While most of the poem was discovered intact, some of it had been destroyed, likely burned in a fire. The 1999 translation by the acclaimed Irish poet Seamus Heaney won the Whitbread Award, and was praised for its freshness and accessibility.This summary refers to the 2000 Farrar, Straus, and Giroux edition. Please note that the poem is... Read Beowulf Summary

Publication year 1920Genre Play, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Relationships: Siblings, Values/Ideas: FateTags American Literature, Play: Tragedy

Eugene O’Neill’s Beyond the Horizon is a play that centers on the disaster that befalls two brothers when they choose to fight against their own natures. Realizing that they both love the same woman, each brother ends up pursuing the dream of the other with dire consequences.Written in 1918, Beyond the Horizon was O’Neill’s first full-length work to be produced, although it wasn’t published and first performed until 1920, the same year that it won... Read Beyond the Horizon Summary

Publication year 1925Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Natural World: Nurture v. Nature, Society: War, Natural World: PlaceTags Action / Adventure, Military / War

Publication year 1995Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Good & EvilTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction

Blindness, the 1995 book by Portuguese author José Saramago, tells the story of a society that’s been struck by a virulent epidemic of blindness. This postmodern, apocalyptic novel was originally written in Portuguese, and was translated into English by Giovanni Pontiero with additional help from Margaret Jull Costa. When Saramago won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1998, Blindness was listed as one of his qualifying works.Plot SummaryThe plot of Blindness follows the onset—and the... Read Blindness Summary

Publication year 1941Genre Essay / Speech, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Win & Lose, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Good & EvilTags History: European, Politics / Government

Publication year 1962Genre Poem, FictionTags Lyric Poem, Free verse, Social Justice, Civil Rights / Jim Crow, Cold War, American Literature

Publication year 1964Genre Short Story, Fiction

Alice Munro’s “Boys and Girls” was first published as an individual story in 1964 and was also included in Munro’s 1968 collection, Dance of the Happy Shades. The story takes place at one home in rural Canada, and the narrator, a soon to be 11-year-old girl, carefully describes her father’s work as a fox farmer. The work is seasonal, but the narrator begins in the “several weeks before Christmas” when her father would begin the... Read Boys And Girls Summary

Publication year 1901Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Regret, Identity: Masculinity, Identity: Mental Health, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Relationships: Marriage, Society: Economics, Values/Ideas: Art, Values/Ideas: Power & GreedTags Classic Fiction, Historical Fiction, German literature

Thomas Mann’s novel Buddenbrooks: The Decline of a Family was first published in 1901 and came to be recognized as a monumental work in the canon of modern literature. Thomas Mann (1875­–1955) was a German novelist and recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1929 for his novels, Buddenbrooks and The Magic Mountain. Mann draws on his own family history to craft Buddenbrooks’ narrative, demonstrating profound understanding of societal and familial dynamics in the... Read Buddenbrooks Summary

Publication year 1959Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Natural World: Nurture v. Nature, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Values/Ideas: Literature

Publication year 1945Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Community, Natural World: Place, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Beauty, Natural World: Environment, Relationships: FriendshipTags Historical Fiction, Classic Fiction, Arts / Culture, Anthropology, Animals, Class, Education, Philosophy, Poverty, Relationships, Science / Nature

Cannery Row by John Steinbeck was originally published in 1945. A Nobel Prize-winning writer, Steinbeck grew up in Salinas, California, which is near Monterey—the location of Cannery Row. Aside from a few years in Palo Alto, New York, and Los Angeles, Steinbeck spent most of his adult life living in Monterey County, and he drew on his personal experiences to write Cannery Row.Considered literary fiction or classic literature, Cannery Row is realistic and was written... Read Cannery Row Summary

Publication year 1925Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Identity: Femininity, Relationships: MarriageTags Classic Fiction, African American Literature, Animals

“Cat in the Rain,” a short story by American author Ernest Hemingway, was first published in the 1925 collection In Our Time. Hemingway’s story, like much of his work, is semi-autobiographical and based on his experience as an expatriate in Europe after World War I. Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley, shared a love of cats, and it’s thought he wrote this story for her while they lived in Italy and France. The short story... Read Cat in the Rain Summary

Publication year 1981Genre Novella, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Identity: Femininity, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Magical Realism, Latin American Literature

Chronicle of a Death Foretold is a 1981 novella by Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez. Told in non-chronological order and in journalistic fashion by an unnamed narrator, it pieces together the events leading up to and after the murder of Santiago Nasar by Pedro and Pablo Vicario. The novella has been adapted several times as a film and also as a Broadway musical.This guide uses the 2014 Penguin Books edition, translated by Gregory Rabassa.Content Warning:... Read Chronicle of a Death Foretold Summary

Publication year 1975Genre Play, FictionThemes Society: Colonialism, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Values/Ideas: Win & Lose, Emotions/Behavior: Regret, Relationships: Fathers, Relationships: Daughters & SonsTags Play: Tragedy, Play: Drama, African Literature, Colonialism / Postcolonialism, WWII / World War II

Premiering in 1975, Death and the King’s Horseman is a play written by Nigerian Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka. The play is set in Oyo, Nigeria, during World War II and tells the story of Elesin Oba, the titular king’s horseman who must die by ritual suicide after the Yoruba king dies. The colonial government stops Elesin’s suicide, but the text also suggests that Elesin, a robust man full of life, might not have fulfilled his duty even... Read Death and the King's Horseman Summary

Publication year 1919Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of Age, Relationships: Friendship, Self Discovery, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Auto/Biographical Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Philosophy, Religion / Spirituality, German literature

Hermann Hesse’s Demian (1919) explores the coming-of-age journey of Emil Sinclair as he develops his sense of self and understanding of the duality of humanity. The novel is set in Germany in the early 20th century between World War I and World War II, and it adheres to the Bildungsroman genre. Hesse also utilizes philosophical thought, including Jungian psychology, Gnostic Christianity, and Nietzsche, to shape Sinclair’s self-discovery journey. The novel explores themes regarding the importance... Read Demian Summary

Publication year 1957Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Nostalgia, Society: Class, Society: WarTags Historical Fiction, Classic Fiction, Romance, Russian Literature, Military / War

Introduction Doctor Zhivago is a 1957 novel by Russian author Boris Pasternak. Set during the early 20th century, the story follows the titular Yuri Zhivago as he deals with revolution and social upheaval in his native country. As well as being widely praised following its publication, the novel has been adapted numerous times for the screen, most famously in a 1965 film—for which Pasternak cowrote the screenplay—directed by David Lean and starring Omar Sharif and Julie... Read Doctor Zhivago Summary

Publication year 1970Genre Play, Fiction

Dream on Monkey Mountain, an example of post-colonial literature, is a 1970 play by the Noble Prize-winning poet and playwright, Derek Walcott. The play is an allegory that takes place on an unnamed island in the Caribbean, where a jailed self-hating black man has a dream in which a white goddess convinces him to become an African king with his former jailer as his new enforcer.This guide refers to the 1971 edition of the text... Read Dream on Monkey Mountain Summary

Publication year 2009Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Natural World: Animals, Natural World: Environment, Emotions/Behavior: RevengeTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Fairy Tale / Folklore, Satire

Olga Tokarczuk is among Poland’s most famous and critically acclaimed contemporary authors. She has received multiple national and international literary awards, including the 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature. Her most well-known novels and their translation dates into English are House of Day, House of Night (2003), Primeval and Other Times (2010), Flights (2018), and The Books of Jacob (2021).Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead was published in Poland in 2009 but didn’t... Read Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead Summary

Publication year 1931Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Identity: Femininity, Identity: RaceTags American Literature, Race / Racism

“Dry September,” by American author William Faulkner, is a short story that explores racial tension, violence, and moral decay in a small Southern town when a white woman’s accusation against a Black man leads to violence. The story, which unfolds in five parts, revolves around the rumors that Will Mayes, a Black man, assaulted or frightened a white woman, Miss Minnie Cooper. Without concrete evidence, the men of the town exact their revenge against Mayes... Read Dry September Summary

Publication year 1952Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Relationships: FamilyTags American Literature, Classic Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Realistic Fiction, Drama / Tragedy, Relationships, Class, Religion / Spirituality

John Steinbeck’s East of Eden is an American classic. A work of contemporary fiction, the novel was a popular success upon its 1952 publication, quickly rising to the top of the fiction bestseller list. It has remained in print ever since and is still a widely read and well-respected book. Steinbeck published 33 books, including nonfiction, and received the Nobel Prize in 1962 for his contribution to American letters. His most famous works are the... Read East of Eden Summary

Publication year 1957Genre Play, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Relationships: Family, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: The Future, Emotions/Behavior: RegretTags Play: Tragedy, Play: Comedy / Satire, Irish Literature, Absurdism

Endgame is a one-act, absurdist play by Samuel Beckett, first performed in 1957. The post-apocalyptic play portrays the farcical, tragic existence of four character who are caught in an unfulfilling routine. Beckett regarded the play as one of his greatest achievements. It has been adapted as an opera and as a short film.This guide uses the 2009 Faber and Faber edition. Plot SummaryThe curtain rises on a nearly bare stage: a room in Hamm’s home... Read Endgame Summary

Publication year 1938Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Identity: Masculinity, Natural World: Environment, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Grief / Death

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Olga Tokarczuk, Transl. Jennifer Croft
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Publication year 2007Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Society: Immigration, Natural World: Place, Values/Ideas: LiteratureTags Travel Literature

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J. M. Coetzee
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Publication year 1986Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Literature, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Identity: FemininityTags Gender / Feminism, Historical Fiction

Foe is a 1986 novel by J. M. Coetzee. Foe is a parallel novel, reimagining the story of Daniel Defoe’s 1719 novel Robinson Crusoe from the perspective of a shipwrecked woman named Susan Barton, who then tries to convince a fictionalized version of Defoe to write her story. This guide refers to the 2015 Penguin edition. Content Warning: The source material uses outdated, offensive terms for Black people throughout, which is replicated in this guide... Read Foe Summary

Publication year 1940Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Identity: Gender, Identity: Masculinity, Relationships: Marriage, Society: War, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & BetrayalTags American Literature, Classic Fiction, Historical Fiction, Military / War

For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940) is a novel by the Modernist American author Ernest Hemingway. The novel tells the story of Robert Jordan, an American volunteer working as a demolition specialist for the Republican army during the Spanish Civil War. Robert, sent to blow up a bridge to aid a Republican offensive, enlists the aid of a band of guerrilla fighters in the mountains. Robert falls in love with a woman in their care... Read For Whom the Bell Tolls Summary

Publication year 1990Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: FamilyTags Allegory / Fable / Parable, Grief / Death, Gender / Feminism

“Friend of My Youth” is the title short story from the collection of the same name by Alice Munro, published in 1990. The collection won the 1990 Trillium Book Award, which recognizes writers from Ontario, Canada.Narrated in the first person, the story is told from the perspective of an unnamed female writer in mourning for her mother, who died some years earlier of Parkinson’s disease. The narrator describes a recurrent dream that she used to... Read Friend of My Youth Summary