MA Comp Exam 2016-17 Reading List

British, Irish, and American Literature

  1. Beowulf  (Heaney translation)
  2. Everyman
  3. Geoffrey Chaucer.  General prologue to The Canterbury Tales, “The Wife of Bath’s Tale,” “Clerk's Tale,” “The Franklin's Tale”
  4. William Shakespeare.  King Lear, Richard III
  5. John Donne.  “Batter My Heart, Three-Personed God,” “The Canonization,” “A Valediction Forbidding Mourning”
  6. John Milton.  Samson Agonistes
  7. Aphra Behn.  Oroonoko
  8. Anne Bradstreet.  “The Author to Her Book,” “To My Dear and Loving Husband,” “A Letter to Her Husband, Absent Upon Public Employment,” “Upon the Burning of Our House July 10th, 1666”
  9. Alexander Pope.  The Rape of the Lock
  10. Jane Austen.  Persuasion
  11. William Wordsworth.  “Ode: Intimations of Immortality,” “Tintern Abbey”
  12. Charles Dickens. Hard Times
  13. Robert Browning.  “Porphyria's Lover,” “Andrea del Sarto,” “An Epistle…of Karshish, the Arab Physician”
  14. George Eliot.  Mill on the Floss
  15. Gerard Manley Hopkins.  “The Windhover,” “God’s Grandeur,” “Binsey Poplars.”
  16. Sarah Orne Jewatt. The Country of the Pointed Firs
  17. Nathaniel Hawthorne.  The House of the Seven Gables
  18. Herman Melville.  Billy Budd
  19. Harriet Jacobs.  Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.
  20. Christina Rossetti. Goblin Market
  21. Ralph Waldo Emerson.  "Self-Reliance," "The American Scholar"
  22. Walt Whitman.  “Song of Myself”
  23. Emily Dickinson.  Poems 258 (“There's a certain Slant of light”), 435 (“Much Madness is Divinest Sense”), 449 (“I died for beauty, but was scarce”), 754 (“My Life had stood—a Loaded Gun”), 1732 (“My life closed twice before its close”)
  24. Stephen Crane.  “The Blue Hotel,” “The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky”
  25. Willa Cather. O Pioneers!
  26. T. S. Eliot.  The Waste Land
  27. James Joyce.  “The Dead,” “Araby”
  28. Virginia Woolf.  Mrs. Dalloway, “A Room of One’s Own”
  29. William Faulkner.  “The Bear”
  30. William Butler Yeats.  “Sailing to Byzantium,” “The Second Coming,” “Byzantium,” “The Circus Animals’ Desertion”
  31. Wallace Stevens.  "The Snow Man," "Thirteen  Ways of Looking at a Blackbird," "Not Ideas about the Thing buth the Thing Itself," "Sunday Morning."
  32. Langston Hughes“I, Too,” “The Negro Speaks of Rivers,” “Harlem (A Dream Deferred)”
  33. Flannery O’Connor.  “Good Country People,” “The Artificial Nigger”
  34. Adrienne Rich.  “Diving into the Wreck,” “Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers”
  35. Iris Murdoch.  A Severed Head
  36. Eugene O’Neill. Long Day’s Journey into Night
  37. Leslie Marmon Silko. Ceremony
  38. Toni Morrison.  Sula
  39. Brian Friel.  Dancing at Lughnasa

World Literature

  1. Job, Song of Songs (King James Bible)
  2. Aristophanes. Lysistrata
  3. Michel de Montaigne. "Of Cannibals", "Of Vanity," "Of Experience"
  4. Christine de Pizan. The Book of the City of Ladies
  5. Anton Chekhov. The Cherry Orchard
  6. Thomas Mann.  Death in Venice
  7. Henrik Ibsen.  Ghosts
  8. Gabriel García Márquez.  “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings,” “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World”
  9. Wole Soyinka. Death and the King’s Horseman
  10. Milan Kundera.  The Farewell Waltz
  11. Janet Frame.  Living in the Maniototo


  1. Roland Barthes.  “The Death of the Author” and "From Work to Text"
  2. Miklail Bakhtin.  “Heteroglossia in the Novel from Discourse in the Novel
  3. Michel Foucault, "What is an Author?"; "Panopticism," from Discipline and Punish
  4. Helene Civous, "The Laugh of the Medusa"
  5. Judith Butler, Preface and Chapter 1, "Subjects of Sex/Gender/Desire," from Gender Trouble
  6. Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, "Introduction: Axiomatic," from Espistemology of the Closet
  7. Gerald Vizenor, "Penenative Rumors" from Fugitive Poses
  8. Edward Said, selections from Orientalism
  9. Paul Gilroy, selections from "The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness
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