20th and 21st Century British Literature

GRADUATE COMPREHENSIVE EXAMINATION READING LIST SELECTED BY THE GRADUATE FACULTY

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THE CANDIDATE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL WRITERS AND WORKS IN LIST A, AT LEAST THREE WRITERS FROM LIST B, AND AT LEAST THREE WRITERS FROM LIST C. 

LIST

POETRY

W.H. Auden. Selected Poetry 

T.S. Eliot. “The Hollow Men,”“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” The Waste Land 

Thomas Hardy, Selected Poetry from Satires of Circumstances

Seamus Heaney. Selected Poetry 

Ted Hughes. Selected Poetry 

Philip Larkin. Selected Poetry 

Dylan Thomas. Selected Poetry 

William Butler Yeats. Selected Poems, including “The Second Coming”; “Leda and the Swan”; “Easter, 1916”; “When You Are Old”; “The Wild Swans at Coole,” “The Lake Isle of Innisfree,” “The Circus Animals’ Desertion,” “Sailing to Byzantium,” and “Crazy Jane Talks with the Bishop” 

Representative World War I Poets. Suggested: Wilfred Owen, Rupert Brooke, Siegfried Sassoon, Robert Graves 

PROSE

Kingsley Amis. Lucky Jim 

Joseph Conrad. Any One of the Following: Heart of Darkness, Nostromo, The Secret Agent, Under Western Eyes 

T.S. Eliot. “Tradition and the Individual Talent” 

E.M. Forster. Howards End or A Passage to India 

James Joyce. Dubliners and One of the Following: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man or Ulysses 

D.H. Lawrence. Selected Short Fiction and Any One of the Following: Sons and Lovers, The Rainbow, or Women in Love 

Doris Lessing. The Golden Notebook or Any Other Novel 

Katherine Mansfield, “At the Bay,” “Prelude,” “Je ne Parle pas Francais,” “The Daughters of the Late Colonel” 

Iris Murdoch. Any One Novel 

George Orwell. 1984 or Animal Farm 

Ezra Pound. “The Imagist Manifesto” 

Evelyn Waugh. Any One of the Following: Decline and Fall, A Handful of Dust, or Brideshead Revisited 

Virginia Woolf. Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, Selected Short Fiction to Include “Kew Gardens” and “Mark on the Wall”

 

DRAMA

Samuel Beckett. Endgame, Waiting for Godot 

T.S. Eliot. Murder in the Cathedral 

George Bernard Shaw. Man and Superman, Major Barbara, or Any Other 20th-Century Play 

Tom Stoppard. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead or Arcadia 

John Synge. The Playboy of the Western World 

 

LIST

PROSE AND DRAMA (CHOOSE AT LEAST THREE FROM THE LIST THAT FOLLOWS): 

Martin Amis. The Rachel Papers or Time’s Arrow 

Julian Barnes. Flaubert’s Parrot

Samuel Beckett. Any Novel 

Elizabeth Bowen. Selected Short Fiction or Any Novel 

Anthony Burgess. A Clockwork Orange 

A.S. Byatt. Possession or Angels and Insects 

Roddy Doyle. The Barrytown Trilogy 

Ford Madox Ford. The Good Soldier 

John Fowles. The French Lieutenant’s Woman or Any Other Novel 

John Galsworthy. The Silver Box or Justice 

William Golding. The Lord of the Flies or Any Other Novel 

Graham Greene. Any Novel 

Aldous Huxley. Point Counterpoint or Brave New World 

Kazuo Ishiguro. Remains of the Day 

Hanif Kureishi. The Buddha of Suburbia or The Black Album 

W. Somerset Maugham. Of Human Bondage or Any Other Novel 

Ian McEwen. Atonement 

Edna O’Brien. Any Novel or Selected Short Stories 

Sean O’Casey. Juno and the Paycock or The Plough and the Stars 

John Osborne. Look Back in Anger 

Harold Pinter. The Dumb Waiter, The Collection, The Care Taker, or The Birthday Party 

Jean Rhys. Wide Sargasso Sea 

Dorothy Richardson. Pointed Roofs or Any Other Novel 

Alan Sillitoe. The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner 

Zadie Smith. White Teeth 

William Trevor. Felicia’s Journey or The Story of Lucy Gault 

Fay Weldon. Praxis or Any Other Novel 

H.G. Wells. Tono-Bungay 

Jeanette Winterson. Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, Written on the Body, or Any Other Novel 

LIST

POETRY (CHOOSE AT LEAST THREE FROM THE LIST THAT FOLLOWS): 

Eavan Boland. Selected Poetry

Keith Douglas. Selected Poetry

A.E. Housman. Selected Poetry

Rudyard Kipling, Selected Poetry

D.H. Lawrence. Selected Poetry

Hugh MacDiarmid. Selected Poetry

Louis MacNeice. Selected Poetry

Thom Gunn. Selected Poetry

Geoffrey Hill. Selected Poetry

Paul Muldoon. Selected Poetry

Stevie Smith. Selected Poetry

Stephen Spender. Selected Poetry

Jon Stallworthy. Selected Poetry

 

A candidate may also submit a list of readings to supplement, but not replace, the readings from the core (“A”) list above. The supplementary list should be submitted for approval with the declaration of intent to take the comprehensive examination form. 

 


*Rev. 1 August 2014

 


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