Greatest Works of Literature – Ranked

I collected over 25 lists of the best books and best literature of all time and combined them into one meta-list. Here are the results: every book (or body of work) on at least three of the original source lists, organized by rank, that is, with the literary works on the most lists at the top.

I have not imposed any artificial restrictions on the list: there are novels and non-fiction books, plays and books of poetry, books of short stories and books of essays, highbrow, middlebrow and lowbrow, and even some books for children. Most of the items are books, which are in boldface type, but some are bodies of work, such as an author’s poems or short stories, which are italicized.  I have organized this list first by number of lists that the work is on, then chronologically by date of publication. There is another version of this list that is entirely chronological, if that suits you better, here.  If you want to see the list organized by author, click here (Part 1) and here (Part 2).


Don Quixote (Spain, 1605 [Pt. 1], 1615 [Pt. 2])
– Miguel de Cervantes (Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra) (fiction: novel)


The Divine Comedy (Italy, c. 1308-1321)
– Dante Alighieri (poetry: narrative)


The Odyssey (Ancient Greece, c. 775-700 BCE)
– Homer (attrib.) (poetry: narrative)

The Iliad (Ancient Greece, c. 800-725 BCE)
– Homer (attrib.) (poetry: narrative)

War and Peace (Russia, 1869)
– Leo Tolstoy (fiction: novel)

One Hundred Years of Solitude (Colombia, 1967)
– Gabriel García Márquez (fiction: novel)


In Search of Lost Time (seven novels) (France, 1913-1927)
– Marcel Proust (fiction: novels)

Moby-Dick (US, 1851)
– Herman Melville (fiction: novel)

Madame Bovary
(France, 1857)
– Gustave Flaubert (fiction: novel)

Ulysses (Ireland/France, 1922)
– James Joyce (fiction: novel)

Hamlet (England, 1600)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

Crime and Punishment (Russia, 1866)
– Fyodor Dostoevsky (fiction: novel)

Anna Karenina (Russia, 1877)
– Leo Tolstoy (fiction: novel)

Stories (esp. The Metamorphosis) (Czechoslovakia, 1904-1924)
– Franz Kafka (fiction: stories)

The Stranger (Algeria/France, 1942)
– Albert Camus (fiction: novel)

Oedipus the King (Ancient Greece, c. 450 BCE)
– Sophocles (drama)

King Lear (England, 1605)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

Nineteen Eighty-Four
(UK, 1949)
– George Orwell (fiction: novel)

Midnight’s Children (India/UK, 1981)
– Salman Rushdie (fiction: novel)

The Aeneid (Roman Empire, 29-19 BCE)
– Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro) (poetry: narrative)

The Canterbury Tales (England, c. 1380-1400)
– Geoffrey Chaucer (fiction: linked stories/poetry)

The Brothers Karamazov (Russia, 1880)
– Fyodor Dostoevsky (fiction: novel)

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (US, 1884)
– Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) (fiction: novel)

The Trial (Czechoslovakia, 1914-1915, pub. 1925)
– Franz Kafka (fiction: novel)

Things Fall Apart (Nigeria, 1958)
– Chinua Achebe (fiction: novel)

Medea (Ancient Greece, c. 431 BCE)
– Euripides (drama)

(France, 1580)
– Michel de Montaigne (non-fiction: essays)

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (England, 1594-1595)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

Othello (England, 1604)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

Gulliver’s Travels (Ireland/GB, 1726)
– Jonathan Swift (fiction: satire)

Pride and Prejudice (UK, 1815)
– Jane Austen (fiction: novel)

Heart of Darkness (Poland/UK, 1899 [serial], 1902 [book])
– Joseph Conrad (Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski) (fiction: novella)

The Grapes of Wrath (US, 1940)
– John Steinbeck (fiction: novel)

The Bible: Old Testament (various books) (Palestine/Mesopotamia, c. 750 BCE – 100 CE)
– Various Authors (religious texts)

The Bible: New Testament (various books) (Palestine/Roman Empire, c. 50-120 CE)
– Various Authors (religious texts)

A Thousand and One Nights (The Arabian Nights)
(India/Persia/Arabia, c. 900-1300, first European translation, 1704-1717)
– Anonymous (fiction: linked stories)

The Prince (Italy, 1513)
– Niccolò Machiavelli (non-fiction: political philosophy)

Gargantua and Pantagruel (five novels) (France, 1532-1534)
– François Rabelais (fiction: novels)

The Red and the Black (France, 1830)
– Stendhal (Marie-Henri Beyle) (fiction: novel)

Middlemarch (UK, 1871-1872)
– George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans) (fiction: novel)

The Great Gatsby (US, 1925)
– F. Scott Fitzgerald (fiction: novel)

The Sound and the Fury (US, 1929)
– William Faulkner (fiction: novel)

Invisible Man
(US, 1952)
– Ralph Ellison (fiction: novel)

Lolita (USSR/US, 1955)
– Vladimir Nabokov (fiction: novel)

Ramayana (India, c. 500-200 BCE)
– Valmiki (attrib.) (poetry: narrative/religious text)

Antigone (Ancient Greece, 442-441 BCE)
– Sophocles (drama)

Confessions (Algeria/Ancient Rome, c. 400 CE)
– Augustine of Hippo (non-fiction: memoir)

The Tale of Genji
(Japan, c. 1021)
– Murasaki Shikibu (fiction: novel)

Richard III (England, 1592-1593)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

Romeo and Juliet (England, 1594)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

The Merchant of Venice (England, 1596)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

Julius Caesar (England, 1599)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

Macbeth (England, 1605)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

Paradise Lost
(England, 1667)
– John Milton (poetry: narrative)

Candide (France, 1759)
– Voltaire (François-Marie Arouet) (fiction: novel)

Faust (Germany, 1808 [Pt. 1], 1832 [Pt. 2])
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (drama)

Wuthering Heights (UK, 1847)
– Emily Brontë (fiction: novel)

A Doll’s House (Norway, 1879)
– Henrik Ibsen (drama)

Tales (esp. The Lady with the Dog) (Russia, 1880-1903)
– Anton Chekhov (fiction: stories)

The Cherry Orchard (Russia, 1904)
– Anton Chekhov (drama)

Sons and Lovers (UK, 1913)
– D.H. Lawrence (fiction: novel)

(Argentina, 1944)
– Jorge Luis Borges (fiction: stories)

Waiting for Godot (Ireland/France, 1953)
– Samuel Beckett (drama)

Labyrinths (Argentina, 1962)
– Jorge Luis Borges (fiction: stories/poetry/non-fiction: essays)

The Epic of Gilgamesh (Mesopotamia, c. 2000 BCE)
– Anonymous (poetry: narrative)

The Oresteia (three plays) (Ancient Greece, 458 BCE)
– Aeschylus (drama)

The Histories (Ancient Greece, 441, BCE)
– Herodotus (non-fiction: history)

(India, c. 300-400 CE)
– Vyasa (Krishna Dvaipāyana) (attrib.) (poetry: narrative/religious text)

Shakuntala (The Recognition of Sakuntala) (India, c. 350-450 CE)
– Kālidāsa (drama)

The Qur’an (Arabia, 610-632 CE)
– Muhammad (attrib.) (religious text)

Henry IV, Pts. 1 & 2 (England, 1597)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

Twelfth Night (England, 1599)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

As You Like It
(England, 1599)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

Measure for Measure (England, 1604)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

Antony and Cleopatra
(England, 1606)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

The Tempest (England, 1611)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (Ireland/GB, 1759)
– Laurence Sterne (fiction: novel)

Tales (esp. The Tell-Tale Heart and The Cask of Amontillado) (US, 1832-1849)
– Edgar Allan Poe (fiction: stories)

Jane Eyre (UK, 1847)
– Charlotte Brontë (fiction: novel)

The Magic Mountain (Germany, 1924)
– Thomas Mann (fiction: novel)

To the Lighthouse
(UK, 1927)
– Virginia Woolf (fiction: novel)

Journey to the End of the Night (France, 1932)
– Louis-Ferdinand Céline (fiction: novel)

The Catcher in the Rye (US, 1951)
– J.D. Salinger (fiction: novel)

The Old Man and the Sea (US, 1952)
– Ernest Hemingway (fiction: novella)

Love in the Time of Cholera (Colombia, 1985)
– Gabriel García Márquez (fiction: novel)


Apology (Ancient Greece, c. 399-387 BCE)
– Plato (non-fiction: philosophy)

A Comedy of Errors (England, 1589)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

The Taming of the Shrew (England, 1594)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

Two Gentlemen of Verona (England, 1594)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

Richard II (England, 1595)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

Much Ado About Nothing (England, 1598)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

Henry V (England, 1598)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

All’s Well that Ends Well (England, 1602)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

The Winter’s Tale (England, 1610)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

Tartuffe (France, 1669)
– Molière (drama)

Le Père Goriot (France, 1835)
– Honoré de Balzac (fiction: novel)

Dead Souls (Russia, 1842)
– Nikolai Gogol (fiction: novel)

The Communist Manifesto (Germany/UK, 1848)
– Karl Marx & Freidrich Engels (non-fiction: political philosophy)

Leaves of Grass (US, 1855 [1st Ed.])
– Walt Whitman (poetry: lyric)

On the Origin of Species (UK, 1859)
– Charles Darwin (non-fiction: science)

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (UK, 1865)
– Lewis Carroll (Charles Dodgson) (fiction: novel)

Poems (esp. When You Are Old and The Second Coming) (Ireland, c. 1882-1939)
– William Butler Yeats (poetry: lyric)

The Interpretation of Dreams
(Austria, 1899)
– Sigmund Freud (non-fiction: psychology)

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Ireland, 1916)
– James Joyce (fiction: novel)

The Sun Also Rises (US, 1926)
– Ernest Hemingway (fiction: novel)

Brave New World (UK, 1932)
– Aldous Huxley (fiction: novel)

Absalom, Absalom! (US, 1936)
– William Faulkner (fiction: novel)

Gone with the Wind (US, 1936)
– Margaret Mitchell (fiction: novel)

Animal Farm (UK, 1945)
– George Orwell (fiction: novel)

The Bhagavad-Gita (India, c. (500-100 BCE)
– Anonymous (poetry: narrative/religious text)

(Ancient Greece, 411 BCE)
– Aristophanes (drama)

The Peloponnesian War (Ancient Greece, 400 BCE)
– Thucydides (non-fiction: history)

The Republic
(Ancient Greece, c. 380 BCE)
– Plato (non-fiction: philosophy)

(Ancient Greece, c. 335-323 BCE)
– Aristotle (non-fiction: philosophy)

De Rerum Natura (On the Nature of Things) (Ancient Rome, 50 BCE)
– Lucretius (Titus Lucretius Carus) (poetry: narrative/non-fiction: philosophy)

Metamorphoses (Ancient Rome, 2-8 CE)
– Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso) (poetry: narrative)

The Decameron (Italy, 1350-1353)
– Giovanni Boccaccio (fiction: linked stories)

Coriolanus (England, 1607)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

Tom Jones (GB, 1749)
– Henry Fielding (fiction: novel)

Dream of the Red Chamber (Story of the Stone) (China, 1763-1764 [manuscripts], 1791 [1st printed edition])
– Cao Xueqin (fiction: novel)

Songs of Innocence
(GB, 1789)
– William Blake (poetry: lyric)

The Life of Samuel Johnson (GB, 1791)
– James Boswell (non-fiction: biography)

Songs of Experience (GB, 1794)
– William Blake (poetry: lyric)

Cousin Bette (France, 1846)
– Honoré de Balzac (fiction: novel)

Vanity Fair (UK, 1848)
– William Makepeace Thackeray (fiction: novel)

David Copperfield
(UK, 1849-1850)
– Charles Dickens (fiction: novel)

Great Expectations
(UK, 1860-1861)
– Charles Dickens (fiction: novel)

Les Misérables (France, 1862)
– Victor Hugo (fiction: novel)

Sentimental Education (France, 1869)
– Gustave Flaubert (fiction: novel)

The Idiot (Russia, 1869)
– Fyodor Dostoevsky (fiction: novel)

The Portrait of a Lady (US/UK, 1881)
– Henry James (fiction: novel)

Hunger (Norway, 1890)
– Knut Hamsun (fiction: novel)

(Germany, 1901)
– Thomas Mann (fiction: novel)

(Poland/UK, 1904)
– Joseph Conrad (fiction: novel)

Stories (esp. A Madman’s Diary) (China, 1909-1936)
– Lu Xun (fiction: stories)

Poems (esp. The Waste Land) (US/UK, c. 1909-1965)
– T.S. Eliot (poetry: lyric)

A Passage to India (UK, 1924)
– E.M. Forster (fiction: novel)

Saint Joan (Ireland/UK, 1924)
– George Bernard Shaw (drama)

Mrs. Dalloway (UK, 1925)
– Virginia Woolf (fiction: novel)

The Castle (Czechoslovakia, 1922-1924, pub. 1926)
– Franz Kafka (fiction: novel)

The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (US/France, 1933)
– Gertrude Stein (non-fiction: biography)

Out of Africa (Denmark, 1937)
– Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen) (non-fiction: memoir)

Native Son (US, 1940)
– Richard Wright (fiction: novel)

Long Day’s Journey Into Night (US, 1940)
– Eugene O’Neill (drama)

The Little Prince (France, 1943)
–  Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (fiction: novel)

Under the Volcano (UK, 1947)
– Malcolm Lowry (fiction: novel)

The Second Sex (France, 1949)
– Simone de Beauvoir (non-fiction: sociology)

Doctor Zhivago (USSR, 1957)
– Boris Pasternak (fiction: novel)

The Tin Drum (Germany, 1959)
– Günter Grass (fiction: novel)

The Complete Stories (US, 1971)
– Flannery O’Connor (fiction: stories)

Song of Solomon (US, 1977)
– Toni Morrison (fiction: novel)

The Stories of John Cheever (US, 1978)
– John Cheever (fiction: stories)

The Analects of Confucius (China, c . 551-479 BCE)
– Confucius (attrib.) (non-fiction: philosophy/religious text)

The Bacchae (Ancient Greece, 405 BCE)
– Euripides (drama)

The Birds (Ancient Greece, 400 BCE)
– Aristophanes (drama)

Odes (Ancient Rome, 65-8 BCE)
– Horace (poetry: lyric)

The Praise of Folly (In Praise of Folly)
(Netherlands, 1511)
– Desiderius Erasmus (non-fiction: satire)

Sonnets (esp. Sonnet 18 [“Shall I compare Thee to a summer’s day“]) (England, 1593-1609)
– William Shakespeare (poetry: lyric)

The Pilgrim’s Progress (England, 1679)
– John Bunyan (fiction: novel)

The Narrow Road to the Interior (Japan, 1694)
– Matsuo Basho (poetry: lyric/non-fiction: travel)

Robinson Crusoe (GB, 1719)
– Daniel Defoe (fiction: novel)

The Confessions (Switzerland, 1781)
– Jean-Jacques Rousseau (non-fiction: memoir)

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (GB, 1776-1788)
– Edward Gibbon (non-fiction: history)

(UK, 1815)
– Jane Austen (fiction: novel)

Poems (esp. The Canti) (Italy, 1816-1837)
– Giacomo Leopardi (poetry: lyric)

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (France, 1831)
– Victor Hugo (fiction: novel)

The Charterhouse of Parma (France, 1839)
– Stendhal (fiction: novel)

The Count of Monte-Cristo (France, 1846)
 Alexandre Dumas (fiction: novel)

The Scarlet Letter (US, 1850)
– Nathaniel Hawthorne (fiction: novel)

Walden (US, 1854)
– Henry David Thoreau (non-fiction: memoir/philosophy)

Poems (esp. “‘Hope’ Is the Thing with feathers“) (US, c. 1855-1886)
– Emily Dickinson (poetry: lyric)

On Liberty
(UK, 1859)
– John Stuart Mill (non-fiction: political philosophy)

Short Novels and Tales (esp. The Turn of the Screw) (US/UK, c. 1864-1910)
– Henry James (fiction: stories/novellas)

Tess of the D’Urbervilles (UK, 1891)
– Thomas Hardy (fiction: novel)

The War of the Worlds (UK, 1898)
– H.G. Wells (fiction: novel)

Lord Jim (Poland/UK, 1900)
– Joseph Conrad (fiction: novel)

Kim (India/UK, 1901)
– Rudyard Kipling (fiction: novel)

The House of Mirth (US, 1905)
– Edith Wharton (fiction: novel)

The Age of Innocence (US, 1920)
– Edith Wharton (fiction: novel)

Six Characters in Search of an Author (Italy, 1921)
– Luigi Pirandello (drama)

Zeno’s Conscience (The Confessions of Zeno)
(Italy, 1923)
– Italo Svevo (fiction: novel)

All Quiet on the Western Front (Germany, 1929)
– Erich Maria Remarqué (fiction: novel)

A Room of One’s Own (UK, 1929)
– Virginia Woolf (non-fiction: essay)

As I Lay Dying (US, 1930)
– William Faulkner (fiction: novel)

Rebecca (UK, 1938)
– Daphne du Maurier (fiction: novel)

The Master and Margarita (USSR, 1929-1939, pub. 1966)
– Mikhail Bulgakov (fiction: novel)

For Whom The Bell Tolls (US, 1940)
– Ernest Hemingway (fiction: novel)

The Man Without Qualities (Austria, 1930-1943)
– Robert Musil (fiction: novel)

The Aleph and Other Stories (Argentina, 1949)
– Jorge Luis Borges (fiction: stories)

Rabbit, Run
(US, 1960)
– John Updike (fiction: novel)

In Cold Blood (US, 1966)
– Truman Capote (non-fiction: journalism)

Beloved (US, 1987)
– Toni Morrison (fiction: novel)

The Clouds (Ancient Greece, 423 BCE)
– Aristophanes (drama)

Electra (Ancient Greece, c. 418-414 BCE)
– Sophocles (drama)

Nichomachean Ethics (c. 335-323 BCE)
– Aristotle (non-fiction: philosophy)

Parallel Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans (Roman Empire, 100-125 CE)
– Plutarch (non-fiction: biography/history)

(Roman Empire, c. 180 CE)
– Marcus Aurelius (non-fiction: memoir/philosophy)

The Book of Kings (Shahnameh) (Persia, c. 1010)
– Ferdowsi (poetry: narrative)

The Rubaiyat (Persia, c. 1100)
– Omar Khayyam (attrib.) (poetry: lyric)

The Song of Roland (France, c. 1140-1170)
– Anonymous (poetry: narrative)

Le Morte d’Arthur
(England, 1485)
– Thomas Malory (fiction: linked stories)

Utopia (England, 1516)
– Thomas More (fiction: satire)

Love’s Labour’s Lost (England, 1595)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

Poems (esp. Holy Sonnet X [“Death be not proud…“]) (England, c. 1595-1631)
– John Donne (poetry: lyric)

The Merry Wives of Windsor (England, 1598)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

(England, 1651)
– Thomas Hobbes (non-fiction: political philosophy)

The Misanthrope (France, 1666)
– Molière (drama)

The Miser (France, 1668)
– Molière (drama)

Pensées (France, 1669)
– Blaise Pascal (non-fiction: philosophy/religion)

Phaedra (France, 1677)
– Jean Racine (drama)

She Stoops to Conquer (Ireland/GB, 1773)
– Oliver Goldsmith (drama)

Jacques the Fatalist (France, 1765-1780)
– Denis Diderot (fiction: novel)

Dangerous Liaisons (France, 1782)
– Pierre Choderlos de Laclos (fiction: novel)

Poems (esp. Kubla Khan) (UK, c. 1792-1834)
– Samuel Taylor Coleridge (poetry: lyric)

Poems (esp. La Belle Dame Sans Merci) (UK, c. 1814-1821)
– John Keats (poetry: lyric)

(UK, 1818)
– Mary Shelley (fiction: novel)

Eugénie Grandet (France, 1833)
– Honoré de Balzac (fiction: novel)

Oliver Twist (UK, 1838)
– Charles Dickens (fiction: novel)

A Christmas Carol (UK, 1843)
– Charles Dickens (fiction: novel)

Bleak House
(UK, 1852-1853)
– Charles Dickens (fiction: novel)

A Tale of Two Cities (UK, 1859)
– Charles Dickens (fiction: novel)

Fathers and Sons (Russia, 1862)
– Ivan Turgenev (fiction: novel)

Little Women (US, 1868)
– Louisa May Alcott (fiction: novel)

Through the Looking Glass (and What Alice Found There)
(UK, 1871)
– Lewis Carroll (fiction: novel)

The Possessed (The Devils) (Russia, 1872)
– Fyodor Dostoevsky (fiction: novel)

Treasure Island (UK, 1883)
– Robert Louis Stevenson (fiction: novel)

The Death of Ivan Ilyich (Russia, 1886)
– Leo Tolstoy (fiction: novella)

The Mayor of Casterbridge (UK, 1886)
– Thomas Hardy (fiction: novel)

Jude the Obscure (UK, 1895)
– Thomas Hardy (fiction: novel)

Cyrano de Bergerac (France, 1897)
– Edmond Rostand (drama)

The Importance of Being Earnest (Ireland/UK, 1899)
– Oscar Wilde (drama)

The Ambassadors (US/UK, 1903)
– Henry James (fiction: novel)

Death in Venice
(Germany, 1912)
– Thomas Mann (fiction: novella)

Kokoro (Japan, 1914)
– Natsume Soseki (fiction: novel)

Dubliners (Ireland, 1914)
– James Joyce (fiction: stories)

The Rainbow
(UK, 1915)
– D.H. Lawrence (fiction: novel)

The Education of Henry Adams (US, 1918)
– Henry Adams (non-fiction: memoir)

An American Tragedy (US, 1925)
– Theodore Dreiser (fiction: novel)

A Farewell to Arms (US, 1929)
– Ernest Hemingway (fiction: novel)

Light in August (US, 1932)
– William Faulkner (fiction: novel)

Tender Is the Night
(US, 1934)
– F. Scott Fitzgerald (fiction: novel)

Independent People (Iceland, 1935)
– Halldór Laxness (fiction: novel)

Murder in the Cathedral (US/UK, 1935)
– T.S. Eliot (drama)

U.S.A. (three novels) (US, 1930-1936)
– John Dos Passos (fiction: novels)

Our Town (US, 1938)
– Thornton Wilder (drama)

Finnegan’s Wake (Ireland/France, 1939)
– James Joyce (fiction: novel)

All the King’s Men (US, 1946)
– Robert Penn Warren (fiction: novel)

The Plague (Algeria/France, 1947)
– Albert Camus (fiction: novel)

A Streetcar Named Desire (US, 1947)
– Tennessee Williams (drama)

The Diary of a Young Girl
(Netherlands, 1947)
– Anne Frank (non-fiction: diary)

Death of a Salesman (US, 1949)
– Arthur Miller (drama)

The Adventures of Augie March (US, 1953)
– Saul Bellow (fiction: novel)

Collected Poems (US, 1954)
– Wallace Stevens (poetry: lyric)

The Lord of the Rings (three novels) (UK, 1956)
– J.R.R. Tolkien (fiction: novels)

On the Road (US, 1957)
– Jack Kerouac (fiction: novel)

The Leopard (Italy, 1958)
– Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (fiction: novel)

Dreamtigers (El Hacedor) (Argentina, 1960)
– Jorge Luis Borges (fiction: stories/poetry/non-fiction: essays)

To Kill a Mockingbird (US, 1960)
– Harper Lee (fiction: novel)

(US, 1961)
–  Joseph Heller (fiction: novel)

Pale Fire (USSR/US, 1962)
– Vladimir Nabokov (fiction: novel)

The Golden Notebook (Zimbabwe/UK, 1962)
– Doris Lessing (fiction: novel)

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (USSR, 1962)
– Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (fiction: novel)

The Lives of a Cell (US, 1974)
– Lewis Thomas (non-fiction: science/essays)

The World According to Garp (US, 1978)
– John Irving (fiction: novel)

Sophie’s Choice (US, 1979)
– William Styron (fiction: novel)

Rabbit Is Rich (US, 1981)
– John Updike (fiction: novel)

White Noise (US, 1985)
– Don DeLillo (fiction: novel)

Mukya Upanishads (India, c. 800-400 BCE)
– Anonymous (religious texts)

Tao Te Ching
(China, c. 624-604 BCE)
– Laozi (Lao Tzu) (attrib.) (non-fiction: philosophy/religious text)

Classic of Poetry (Book of Odes) (China, c. 600 BCE)
– Anonymous (poetry: lyric/religious text)

Prometheus Bound (Ancient Greece, c. 460-415 BCE)
– Aeschylus (attrib.) (drama)

Alcestis (Ancient Greece, 438 BCE)
– Euripides (drama)

Electra (Ancient Greece, 420 BCE)
– Euripides (drama)

Trojan Women (Ancient Greece, 415 BCE)
– Euripides (drama)

The Frogs (Ancient Greece, 405 BCE)
– Aristophanes (drama)

Oedipus at Colonus
(Ancient Greece, 401 BCE)
– Sophocles (drama)

Physics (Ancient Greece, c. 335-323 BCE)
– Aristotle (non-fiction: philosophy/science)

Physics (Ancient Greece, c. 335-323 BCE)
– Aristotle (non-fiction: philosophy)

The Book of Mencius (China, c. 309-289 BCE)
– Mencius (non-fiction: philosophy/religious text)

Records of the Grand Historian (China, c. 109-91 BCE)
– Sima Qian (non-fiction: history)

The Golden Ass (Ancient Rome, c. 158-180 CE)
 Apuleius (fiction: novel)

Man’yōshū (Japan, c. 760 CE)
 Various Authors (poetry: lyric)

Beowulf (England, c. 1000)
– Anonymous (poetry: narrative)

The Pillow Book (Japan, c. 1002)
– Sei Shonagon (non-fiction: memoir)

The Masnavi
(Persia, c. 1258-1273)
– Jalalu’l-Din Rumi (poetry: lyric)

Journey to the West (Monkey) (China, c. 1540-1560)
– Wu Cheng’en (fiction: novel)

Doctor Faustus (England, 1588)
– Christopher Marlowe (drama)

Henry VI, Pts. 1, 2, 3 (England, 1591)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

Titus Andronicus (England, 1592)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

King John (England, 1596)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

Troilus and Cressida (England, 1602)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

Timon of Athens (England, 1606)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

Volpone (England, 1606)
– Ben Jonson (drama)

(England, 1611)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

Henry VIII (England, 1613)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

Fuenteovejuna (Lost in a Mirror) (Spain, 1619)
– Lope de Vega (drama)

The Would-Be Gentleman
(France, 1655)
– Molière (drama)

The School for Wives (France, 1662)
– Molière (drama)

Paradise Regained (England, 1671)
– John Milton (poetry: narrative)

The Way of the World (England, 1700)
– William Congreve (drama)

The Vicar of Wakefield (Ireland/GB, 1766)
– Oliver Goldsmith (fiction: novel)

Poems (esp. Daffodils (“I wandered lonely as a cloud“) (GB/UK, 1787-1850)
– William Wordsworth (poetry: lyric/narrative)

The Sorrows of Young Werther
(Germany, 1774)
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (fiction: novel)

The School for Scandal (Ireland/GB, 1777)
– Richard Brinsley Sheridan (drama)

Stories (esp. The Earthquake in Chile) (Germany, 1810-1811)
– Heinrich von Kleist (fiction: stories)

Poems (esp. The Charge of the Light Brigade) (UK, c. 1826-1892)
– Alfred, Lord Tennyson (poetry: lyric)

The Betrothed (Italy, 1827)
– Alessandro Manzoni (fiction: novel)

The Pickwick Papers (UK, 1837)
– Charles Dickens (fiction: novel)

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas, An American Slave (US, 1845)
– Frederick Douglass (non-fiction: memoir)

Uncle Tom’s Cabin (US, 1851)
– Harriet Beecher Stowe (fiction: novel)

Flowers of Evil
(France, 1857)
– Charles Baudelaire (poetry: lyric)

The Woman in White (UK, 1860)
– Wilkie Collins (fiction: novel)

The Mill on the Floss (UK, 1860)
– George Eliot (fiction: novel)

Poems (esp. The Windhover) (UK, c. 1860-1889)
– Gerard Manley Hopkins (poetry: lyric)

Silas Marner (UK, 1861)
– George Eliot (fiction: novel)

Peer Gynt (Norway, 1867)
– Henrik Ibsen (drama)

A Season in Hell (France, 1873)
– Arthur Rimbaud (poetry: lyric)

Far from the Madding Crowd
(UK, 1874)
– Thomas Hardy (fiction: novel)

Stories (esp. The Necklace) (France, c. 1875-1893)
– Guy de Maupassant (fiction: stories)

Poems (esp. Endless Time (Gitanjali #1); A Moment’s Indulgence (Gitanjali #5); The Lotus (Gitanjali #20); and The Gardener #38 (“My Love Once upon a Time”)
(India, c. 1877-1941)
– Rabindranath Tagore (poetry: lyric)

Miss Julie (Sweden, 1888)
– August Strindberg (drama)

Hedda Gabler (Norway, 1890)
– Henrik Ibsen (drama)

The Picture of Dorian Gray (Ireland/UK, 1890)
– Oscar Wilde (fiction: novel)

Billy Budd (US, c. 1891, pub. 1924)
– Herman Melville (fiction: novella)

The Time Machine (UK, 1895)
– H.G. Wells (fiction: novel)

Dracula (Ireland, 1897)
– Bram Stoker (fiction: novel)

Uncle Vanya (Russia, 1899-1900)
– Anton Chekhov (drama)

Sister Carrie (US, 1900)
– Theodore Dreiser (fiction: novel)

The Hound of the Baskervilles (UK, 1902)
– Arthur Conan Doyle (fiction: novel)

Man and Superman (Ireland/UK, 1902-1903)
– George Bernard Shaw (drama)

The Call of the Wild (US, 1903)
– Jack London (fiction: novel)

Major Barbara (Ireland/UK, 1905)
– George Bernard Shaw (drama)

Poems (esp. Poetry and The Fish) (US, c. 1905-1972)
– Marianne Moore (poetry: lyric)

The Secret Agent (Poland/UK, 1907)
– Joseph Conrad (fiction: novel)

A Wind in the Willows
(UK, 1908)
– Kenneth Grahame (fiction: novel)

Howards End (UK, 1910)
– E.M. Forster (fiction: novel)

My Ántonia (US, 1918)
– Willa Cather (fiction: novel)

Winesburg, Ohio
(US, 1919)
– Sherwood Anderson (fiction: linked stories)

The Forsyte Saga (three novels and two stories) (UK, 1906-1921)
– John Galsworthy (fiction: novels/stories)

Juno and the Paycock (Ireland, 1924)
– Sean O’Casey (drama)

The Counterfeiters (France, 1925)
– André Gide (fiction: novel)

Winnie-the-Pooh (UK, 1926)
– A.A. Milne (fiction: novel)

Gypsy Ballads
(Spain, 1928)
– Federico García Lorca (poetry: lyric)

Lady Chatterley’s Lover (UK, 1928)
– D.H. Lawrence (fiction: novel)

Nadja (France, 1928)
– André Breton (fiction: novel)

An Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth (India, 1929)
– Mohandas K. Gandhi (non-fiction: memoir)

The Maltese Falcon (US, 1929)
– Dashiell Hammett (fiction: novel)

The Good Earth (US, 1931)
– Pearl Buck (fiction: novel)

Man’s Fate (France, 1933)
– André Malraux (fiction: novel)

Tropic of Cancer (US, 1934)
– Henry Miller (fiction: novel)

Poems (esp. Death Fugue) (Romania/France, c. 1934 -1970)
– Paul Celan (poetry: lyric)

The Book of Disquiet
(Portugal, 1935)
– Fernando Pessoa (fiction: novel)

The General Theory of Employment, Interest & Money (UK, 1936)
– John Maynard Keynes (non-fiction: economics)

Of Mice and Men (US, 1937)
– John Steinbeck (fiction: novella)

Nausea (France, 1938)
– Jean-Paul Sartre (fiction: novel)

Mother Courage and Her Children (Germany, 1938-1939)
– Bertolt Brecht (drama)

The Big Sleep (US, 1939)
– Raymond Chandler (fiction: novel)

The Power and the Glory (UK, 1940)
– Graham Greene (fiction: novel)

The Caucasian Chalk Circle (Germany, 1943-1945)
– Bertolt Brecht (drama)

Loving (UK, 1945)
– Henry Green (fiction: novel)

Brideshead Revisited
(UK, 1945)
– Evelyn Waugh (fiction: novel)

If This Is a Man (Survival in Auschwitz) (Italy, 1947)
– Primo Levi (non-fiction: memoir)

Snow Country (Japan, 1948)
– Yasunari Kawabata (fiction: novel)

Cry, the Beloved Country (South Africa, 1948)
– Alan Paton (fiction: novel)

Memoirs of Hadrian (France, 1951)
– Marguerite Yourcenar (fiction: novel)

Molloy; Molone Dies; The Unnameable (three novels) (Ireland/France, 1951-1953)
– Samuel Beckett (fiction: novels)

Lord of the Flies (UK, 1954)
– William Golding (fiction: novel)

The Visit (Germany, 1956)
– Friedrich Dürrenmatt (drama)

Endgame (Ireland/France, 1957)
– Samuel Beckett (drama)

The Moviegoer
(US, 1961)
– Walker Percy (fiction: novel)

Stories (esp. A Rose for Emily and That Evening Sun Go Down) (US, c. 1925-1962)
– William Faulkner (fiction: stories)

A Clockwork Orange (UK, 1962)
– Anthony Burgess (fiction: novel)

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (US, 1962)
– Thomas Kuhn (non-fiction: science)

Herzog (US, 1964)
– Saul Bellow (fiction: novel)

Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung (China, 1964)
– Mao Zedong (Mao Tse-Tung) (non-fiction: political philosophy)

Slaughterhouse-five (US, 1969)
– Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (fiction: novel)

Invisible Cities (Italy, 1972)
– Italo Calvino (fiction: novel)

Gravity’s Rainbow (US, 1973)
– Thomas Pynchon (fiction: novel)

The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956
(USSR, 1973)
– Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (non-fiction: history)

If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler (Italy, 1979)
– Italo Calvino (fiction: novel)

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (UK, 1979)
– Douglas Adams (fiction: novel)

Schindler’s List (Schindler’s Ark) (Australia, 1982)
– Thomas Keneally (fiction: novel)

The House of the Spirits (Chile, 1982)
– Isabel Allende (fiction: novel)

Ironweed (US, 1983)
– William Kennedy (fiction: novel)

The Unbearable Lightness of Being (Czechoslovakia, 1984)
– Milan Kundera (fiction: novel)

The Handmaid’s Tale (Canada, 1985)
– Margaret Atwood (fiction: novel)

Possession (UK, 1990)
– A.S. Byatt (fiction: novel)

American Pastoral
(US, 1997)
– Philip Roth (fiction: novel)

The God of Small Things (India, 1997)
– Arundhati Roy (fiction: novel)

The Poisonwood Bible (US, 1998)
– Barbara Kingsolver (fiction: novel)

Waiting (China/US, 1999)
– Ha Jin (fiction: novel)

Poems (esp. Fragment 42 and Fragment 155) (Ancient Greece, c. 630-570 BCE)
– Sappho (poetry: lyric)

Fables (esp. The Tortoise and the Hare and The Grasshopper and the Ant) (Ancient Greece, c. 600-560 BCE)
– Aesop (fiction: stories)

Hippolytus (Ancient Greece, c. 428 BCE)
– Euripides (drama)

The Knights (Ancient Greece, 424 BCE)
– Aristophanes (drama)

The Symposium (Ancient Greece, c. 380-360 BCE)
– Plato (non-fiction: philosophy)

The Zhuangzi
(China, c. 306-286 BCE)
– Zhuangzi (non-fiction: philosophy/fiction: stories)

The Panchatantra (India, c. 300 BCE)
– Vishnu Sharma (attrib.) (fiction: linked stories)

Menaechmi (The Brothers Menaechmus) (Roman Republic, c. 254-184 BCE)
– Plautus (drama)

Satyricon (Roman Empire, c. 27-66 CE)
– Petronius (poetry: narrative/fiction: novel)

Annals (Roman Empire, 109 CE)
– Tacitus (non-fiction: history)

Satakatraya (The Three Centuries) (India, c. 450-500 CE)
– Bhartrihari (attrib.) (poetry: lyric)

The Conference of the Birds (Persia, 1177)
– Attar of Nishapur (poetry: lyric)

The Poem of the Cid (Spain, c. 1195-1207)
– Anonymous (poetry: narrative)

Gita Govinda (Song of Govinda)
(India, c. 1200-1245)
– Jayadeva (poetry: narrative)

Njal’s Saga (Iceland, c. 1270-1290)
– Anonymous (fiction: saga)

Water Margin (Outlaws of the Marsh)
(China, c. 1296-1372)
– Shi Nai’an (attrib.) (fiction: novel)

Poems (esp. Sonnets To Laura in Life: 109) (Italy, c. 1326-1374)
– Petrarch (poetry: lyric)

Poems (esp. O beautiful wine bearer, bring forth the cup (Ghazal 1)) (Persia, c. 1330-1390)
– Hafez (Khwāja Shams-ud-Dīn Muḥammad Ḥāfeẓ-e Shīrāzī) (poetry: lyric)

Troilus and Criseyde (England, c. 1385)
– Geoffrey Chaucer (poetry: narrative)

Everyman (England, c. 1490)
– Anonymous (drama)

The Book of the Courtier (Italy, 1528)
– Baldassare Castiglione (non-fiction: manners/fiction: dialogue)

Orlando Furioso
(Italy, 1532)
– Ludovico Ariosto (poetry: narrative)

Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors and Architects (Italy, 1550)
– Giorgio Vasari (non-fiction: biography/arts)

The Plum in the Golden Vase (China, c. 1600)
– Lanling Xiaoxiao Sheng (fiction: novel)

The Alchemist (England, 1612)
– Ben Jonson (drama)

Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems (Italy, 1632)
– Galileo Galilei (non-fiction: science/fiction: dialogue)

Life Is a Dream (Spain, 1629-1635)
– Pedro Calderón de la Barca (drama)

The Cid (France, 1637)
– Pierre Corneille (drama)

Discourse on Method (France/Netherlands, 1637)
 René Descartes (non-fiction: philosophy)

Meditations on First Philosophy (France/Netherlands, 1641)
 René Descartes (non-fiction: philosophy)

(England, 1644)
– John Milton (non-fiction: political philosophy/arts)

Don Juan (France, 1665)
– Molière (drama)

Samson Agonistes (England, 1671)
– John Milton (drama)

The Seashell Game (Japan, 1672)
– Matsuo Basho (poetry: lyric)

The Imaginary Invalid (France, 1673)
– Molière (drama)

Ethics (Netherlands, 1677)
– Benedict de Spinoza (non-fiction: philosophy)

The Princess of Cleves
(France, 1678)
– Madame de La Fayette (fiction: novel)

Shriveled Chestnuts (Japan, 1683)
– Matsuo Basho (poetry: lyric)

Record of a Weather-Exposed Skeleton (Japan, 1684)
– Matsuo Basho (poetry: lyric/non-fiction: travel)

Winter Days (Japan, 1684)
– Matsuo Basho (poetry: lyric)

Spring Days (Japan, 1686)
– Matsuo Basho (poetry: lyric)

A Visit to Kashima Shrine (Japan, 1687)
– Matsuo Basho (poetry: lyric/non-fiction: travel)

Record of a Travel-Worn Satchel (Japan, 1688)
– Matsuo Basho (poetry: lyric/non-fiction: travel)

Wasteland (Japan, 1689)
– Matsuo Basho (poetry: lyric)

The Gourd (Japan, 1690)
– Matsuo Basho (poetry: lyric)

The Monkey’s Raincoat (Japan, 1691)
– Matsuo Basho (poetry: lyric)

Saga Diary (Japan, 1691)
– Matsuo Basho (poetry: lyric/non-fiction: travel)

On Transplanting the Banana Tree (Japan, 1691)
– Matsuo Basho (poetry: lyric)

On Seclusion (Japan, 1691)
– Matsuo Basho (poetry: lyric)

(12 books) (France, 1668-1694)
– Jean de La Fontaine (poetry: lyric/narrative)

A Sack of Charcoal (Japan, 1694)
– Matsuo Basho (poetry: lyric)

The Detached Room (Japan, 1694)
– Matsuo Basho (poetry: lyric)

The Monkey’s Raincoat, Continued (Japan, 1698)
– Matsuo Basho (poetry: lyric)

The Love Suicides at Sonezaki (Japan, 1703)
– Chikamatsu Monzaemon (drama)

Moll Flanders (GB, 1722)
– Daniel Defoe (fiction: novel)

Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded (GB, 1740)
– Samuel Richardson (fiction: novel)

The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews (Joseph Andrews) (GB, 1742)
– Henry Fielding (fiction: novel)

Clarissa, or The History of a Young Lady
 (GB, 1748)
– Samuel Richardson (fiction: novel)

The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia (GB, 1759)
– Samuel Johnson (fiction: novel)

Poems (esp. A Red, Red Rose) (GB: Scotland, 1759-1796)
– Robert Burns (poetry: lyric)

The Social Contract (Switzerland, 1762)
– Jean-Jacques Rousseau (non-fiction: political philosophy)

Poems (esp. The Erlking and Mignon’s Longing) (Germany, c. 1770-1832)
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (poetry: lyric)

The Expedition of Humphrey Clinker (GB, 1771)
– Tobias Smollett (fiction: novel)

Rameau’s Nephew (France, 1761-1772)
– Denis Diderot (non-fiction: philosophy/fiction: dialogue)

Critique of Pure Reason (Germany, 1781)
 Immanuel Kant (non-fiction: philosophy)

Poems (esp. Bread and Wine and In the Middle of Life) (Germany, c. 1784-1843)
– Friedrich Hölderlin (poetry: lyric)

Essays (GB/UK, c. 1791-1834)
– Samuel Taylor Coleridge (non-fiction: essays)

The Vindication of the Rights of Woman
(GB, 1792)
– Mary Wollstonecraft (non-fiction: political philosophy/sociology)

Sense and Sensibility (UK, 1811)
– Jane Austen (fiction: novel)

Tales (esp. The Queen of Spades) (Russia, c. 18201837)
– Alexander Pushkin (fiction: stories)

Poems (esp. Concord Hymn, Days, The Rhodora, and The Snow-storm) (US, c. 1823-1882)
– Ralph Waldo Emerson (poetry: lyric)

Fairy Tales and Stories (esp. The Emperor’s New Clothes and The Little Mermaid) (Denmark, c. 1825-1872)
– Hans Christian Andersen (fiction: stories)

Democracy in America (France, 1835-1840)
– Alexis de Tocqueville (non-fiction: journalism/travel)

Essays, 1st Series (US, 1841)
– Ralph Waldo Emerson (non-fiction: essays)

Essays, 2nd Series
(US, 1844)
– Ralph Waldo Emerson (non-fiction: essays)

The Three Musketeers (France, 1844)
– Alexandre Dumas (fiction: novel)

A Harlot High and Low
(France, 1847)
– Honoré de Balzac (fiction: novel)

Representative Men (US, 1850)
– Ralph Waldo Emerson (non-fiction: essay)

The Prelude (UK, 1850)
– William Wordsworth (poetry: narrative)

Hard Times (UK, 1854)
– Charles Dickens (fiction: novel)

Little Dorrit (UK, 1857)
– Charles Dickens (fiction: novel)

Oblomov (Russia, 1859)
– Ivan Goncharov (fiction: novel)

Notes from the Underground (Russia, 1864)
– Fyodor Dostoevsky (fiction: novel)

The Last Chronicle of Barset (UK, 1867)
– Anthony Trollope (fiction: novel)

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (France, 1870)
– Jules Verne (fiction: novel)

The Return of the Native (UK, 1878)
– Thomas Hardy (fiction: novel)

Thus Spake Zarathustra
(Germany, 1883)
– Friedrich Nietzsche (non-fiction: philosophy)

Germinal (France, 1885)
– Émile Zola (fiction: novel)

Kidnapped (UK, 1886)
– Robert Louis Stevenson (fiction: novel)

The Father (Sweden, 1887)
– August Strindberg (drama)

The Way of All Flesh (UK, c. 1899)
– Samuel Butler (fiction: novel)

The Kreutzer Sonata (Russia, 1899)
– Leo Tolstoy (fiction: novella)

Stories (esp. Bartleby the Scrivener) (US, c. 1845-1891)
– Herman Melville (fiction: stories)

The Master Builder (Norway, 1892)
– Henrik Ibsen (drama)

Poems (esp. Remember) (UK, c. 1842-1894)
– Christina Rossetti (poetry: lyric)

Das Kapital (Capital)
(three volumes) (Germany/UK, 1867-1894)
– Karl Marx (with Friedrich Engels) (non-fiction: economics/political philosophy)

The Red Badge of Courage (US, 1895)
– Stephen Crane (fiction: novel)

Effi Briest (Germany, 1896)
– Theodor Fontane (fiction: novel)

The Awakening (US, 1899)
– Kate Chopin (fiction: novel)

Three Sisters (Russia, 1901)
– Anton Chekhov (drama)

The Wings of the Dove (US/UK, 1902)
– Henry James (fiction: novel)

The Varieties of Religious Experience (US, 1902)
– William James (non-fiction: religion/psychology)

The Golden Bowl (US/UK, 1904)
– Henry James (fiction: novel)

Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality (Austria, 1905)
– Sigmund Freud (non-fiction: psychology)

The Jungle
(US, 1906)
– Upton Sinclair (fiction: novel)

The Ghost Sonata (Sweden, 1907)
– August Strindberg (drama)

Pragmatism (US, 1907)
– William James (non-fiction: philosophy)

The Playboy of the Western World (Ireland, 1907)
– John Millington Synge (drama)

The Old Wive’s Tale (UK, 1908)
– Arnold Bennett (fiction: novel)

A Room with a View (UK, 1908)
– E.M. Forster (fiction: novel)

Ethan Frome (US, 1911)
– Edith Wharton (fiction: novel)

Pygmalion (Ireland/UK, 1912-1913)
– George Bernard Shaw (drama)

Poems (esp. A Cloud in Trousers and Past One O’Clock) (Georgia/Russia/USSR, c. 1912-1930)
– Vladimir Mayakovsky (poetry: lyric)

Poems (esp. Requiem) (Russia/USSR, 1912-1966)
– Anna Akhmatova (poetry: lyric)

The Good Soldier
(UK, 1915)
– Ford Madox Ford (fiction: novel)

Of Human Bondage (UK, 1915)
– W. Somerset Maugham (fiction: novel)

Stories (esp. The Story of My Dovecot and My First Goose) (Ukraine/USSR, c. 1915-1940)
– Isaak Babel (fiction: stories)

The Plough and the Stars (Ireland, 1926)
– Sean O’Casey (drama)

The Good Soldier Švejk (Czechoslovakia, 1926)
 Jaroslav Hašek (fiction: novel)

Death Comes for the Archbishop (US, 1927)
– Willa Cather (fiction: novel)

The Bridge of San Luis Rey (US, 1927)
– Thornton Wilder (fiction: novel)

Parade’s End (UK, 1924-1928)
– Ford Madox Ford (fiction: novel)

Orlando: A Biography (UK, 1928)
– Virginia Woolf (fiction: novel)

Berlin Alexanderplatz (Germany, 1929)
– Alfred Döblin (fiction: novel)

Les Enfants Terribles
(Frances, 1929)
– Jean Cocteau (fiction: novel)

Look Homeward, Angel (US, 1929)
– Thomas Wolfe (fiction: novel)

Civilization and its Discontents (Austria, 1930)
– Sigmund Freud (non-fiction: psychology/sociology)

The Waves (UK, 1931)
– Virginia Woolf (fiction: novel)

Blood Wedding (Spain, 1932)
– Federico García Lorca (drama)

The Postman Always Rings Twice (US, 1934)
– James M. Cain (fiction: novel)

A Handful of Dust (UK, 1934)
– Evelyn Waugh (fiction: novel)

Appointment in Samarra (US, 1934)
– John O’Hara (fiction: novel)

Their Eyes Were Watching God (US, 1937)
– Zora Neale Hurston (fiction: novel)

Brighton Rock
(UK, 1938)
– Graham Greene (fiction: novel)

The Iceman Cometh (US, 1939)
– Eugene O’Neill (drama)

The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (US, 1940)
– Carson McCullers (fiction: novel)

Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (US, 1941)
– James Agee (with photos by Walker Evans) (non-fiction: journalism/essay)

The Skin of Our Teeth (US, 1942)
– Thornton Wilder (drama)

The Good Person of Szechwan (The Good Woman of Setzuan) (Germany/US, 1941)
– Bertolt Brecht (drama)

The Glass Bead Game (Magister Ludi) (Germany/Switzerland)
– Herman Hesse

No Exit (France, 1944)
– Jean-Paul Sartre (drama)

The Glass Menagerie (US, 1944)
– Tennessee Williams (drama)

The Madwoman of Chaillot (France, 1945)
– Jean Giraudoux (drama)

Zorba the Greek
(Greece, 1946)
– Nikos Kazantzakis (fiction: novel)

Titus Groan (UK, 1946)
– Mervyn Peake (fiction: novel)

The Palm-Wine Drinkard (Nigeria, 1946)
– Amos Tutola (fiction: novel)

Doctor Faustus (Germany, 1947)
– Thomas Mann (fiction: novel)

The Heart of the Matter (UK, 1948)
– Graham Greene (fiction: novel)

The Naked and the Dead (US, 1948)
– Norman Mailer (fiction: novel)

The Bald Soprano (Romania/France, 1950)
– Eugène Ionesco (drama)

Gormenghast (UK, 1950)
– Mervyn Peake (fiction: novel)

Speak, Memory (USSR/US, 1951)
– Vladimir Nabokov (non-fiction: memoir)

Day of the Triffids (UK, 1951)
– John Wyndham (fiction: novel)

Go Tell It on the Mountain
(US, 1953)
– James Baldwin (fiction: novel)

The Lost Steps (Cuba, 1953)
– Alejo Carpentier (fiction: novel)

I’m Not Stiller (Switzerland, 1954)
– Max Frisch (fiction: novel)

The Selected Poems of Federico García Lorca (Spain, 1918-1936, pub. 1955)
– Federico García Lorca (poetry: lyric)

Pedro Páramo (Mexico, 1955)
– Juan Rulfo (fiction: novel)

The Devil to Pay in the Backlands (Brazil, 1956)
– João Guimarães Rosa (fiction: novel)

Palace Walk (Egypt, 1956)
– Naguib Mahfouz (fiction: novel)

Voss (Australia, 1957)
– Patrick White (fiction: novel)

Jealousy (France, 1957)
– Alain Robbe-Grillet (fiction: novel)

The Baron in the Trees
(Italy, 1957)
– Italo Calvino (fiction: novel)

The Caretaker (UK, 1959)
– Harold Pinter (drama)

Henderson the Rain King (US, 1959)
– Saul Bellow (fiction: novel)

The Alexandria Quartet (four novels) (UK, 1957-1960)
– Lawrence Durrell (fiction: novels)

Selected Poems (Chile, c. 1921-1959, pub. 1961)
– Pablo Neruda (Ricardo Eliécer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto) (poetry: lyric)

A House for Mr. Biswas (Trinidad & Tobago/UK, 1961)
– V.S. Naipaul (fiction: novel)

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (US, 1962)
– Ken Kesey (fiction: novel)

Silent Spring (US, 1962)
– Rachel Carson (non-fiction: science)

The Labyrinth of Solitude (Mexico, 1963)
– Octavio Paz (non-fiction: essays)

The Feminine Mystique
(US, 1963)
– Betty Friedan (non-fiction: sociology)

The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter (US, 1922-1960, pub. 1965)
– Katherine Anne Porter (fiction: stories)

The Autobiography of Malcolm X (US, 1965)
– Malcolm X (with Alex Haley) (non-fiction: memoir)

Wide Sargasso Sea (Dominica/UK, 1966)
– Jean Rhys (fiction: novel)

The Fixer (US, 1966)
– Bernard Malamud (fiction: novel)

Cancer Ward (USSR, 1966)
– Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (fiction: novel)

The Cantos (US/Italy, 1917-1969)
– Ezra Pound (poetry: lyric)

Portnoy’s Complaint (US, 1969)
– Philip Roth (fiction: novel)

Them (US, 1969)
– Joyce Carol Oates (fiction: novel)

Angle of Repose
(US, 1971)
– Wallace Stegner (fiction: novel)

Poems (esp. Lullaby) (US, 1923-1973)
– W.H. Auden (poetry: lyric)

The Great War and Modern Memory (US, 1975)
– Paul Fussell (non-fiction: criticism)

Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror (US, 1975)
– John Ashbery (poetry: lyric)

Ragtime (US, 1975)
– E.L. Doctorow (fiction: novel)

Dispatches (US, 1977)
– Michael Herr (non-fiction: journalism)

A Bend in the River (Trinidad & Tobago/UK, 1979)
– V.S. Naipaul (fiction: novel)

Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid (UK, 1979)
– Douglas Hofstadter (non-fiction: science/arts)

A Confederacy of Dunces (US, 1980)
– John Kennedy Toole (fiction: novel)

The Life and Times of Michael K. (South Africa, 1983)
– J.M. Coetzee (fiction: novel)

The Lover
(France, 1984)
– Marguerite Duras (fiction: novel)

The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway (US, 1923-1961, pub. 1987)
– Ernest Hemingway (fiction: stories)

The Making of the Atomic Bomb (US, 1987)
– Richard Rhodes (non-fiction: science/history)

Where I’m Calling From (US, 1988)
– Raymond Carver (fiction: stories)

Oscar and Lucinda (Australia, 1988)
– Peter Carey (fiction: novel)

The Alchemist (Brazil, 1988)
– Paulo Coelho (fiction: novel)

Billy Bathgate (US, 1989)
– E.L. Doctorow (fiction: novel)

Rabbit at Rest (US, 1990)
– John Updike (fiction: novel)

The Things They Carried (US, 1990)
– Tim O’Brien (fiction: linked stories)

Mao II (US, 1991)
– Don DeLillo (fiction: novel)

Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes
 (US, 1992)
– Tony Kushner (drama)

Operation Shylock (US, 1993)
– Philip Roth (fiction: novel)

The Stone Diaries (US/Canada, 1993)
– Carol Shields (fiction: novel)

The Shipping News (US, 1993)
– E. Annie Proulx (fiction: novel)

Underworld (US, 1997)
– Don DeLillo (fiction: novel)

The Corrections (US, 2001)
– Jonathan Franzen (fiction: novel)

Life of Pi (Canada, 2001)
– Yann Martel (fiction: novel)

I Ching (Book of Changes) (China, c. 1000-750 BCE)
– Anonymous (non-fiction: divination/religious text)

(Ancient Greece, c. 700 BCE)
– Hesiod (poetry: narrative)

The Book of Job (Palestine, c. 600-400 BCE)
– Anonymous (religious text)

Avesta (Persia, c. 559-330 BCE)
– Anonymous (religious text)

Victory Odes (Ancient Greece, c. 490-443 BCE)
– Pindar (poetry: lyric)

The Persians
(Ancient Greece, 472 BCE)
– Aeschylus (drama)

The Suppliant Women (Ancient Greece, c. 469 BCE)
– Aeschylus (drama)

Women of Trachis (Ancient Greece, c. 450 BCE)
– Sophocles (drama)

Ajax (Ancient Greece, c. 447 BCE)
– Sophocles (drama)

Andromache (Ancient Greece, c. 425 BCE)
– Euripides (drama)

Hecuba (Ancient Greece, c. 424 BCE)
– Euripides (drama)

The Wasps
(Ancient Greece, 422 BCE)
– Aristophanes (drama)

Heracles (Ancient Greece, c. 416 BCE)
– Euripides (drama)

Iphigenia in Tauris (Ancient Greece, 414 BCE)
– Euripides (drama)

Ion (Ancient Greece, 414 BCE)
– Euripides (drama)

Helen (Ancient Greece, 412 BCE)
– Euripides (drama)

Philoctetes (Ancient Greece, 409 BCE)
– Sophocles (drama)

Orestes (Ancient Greece, 408 BCE)
– Euripides (drama)

Iphigenia at Aulis (Ancient Greece, 405 BCE)
– Euripides (drama)

Cyclops (Ancient Greece, c. 400 BCE)
– Euripides (drama)

The Assemblywomen (Ancient Greece, 392 BCE)
– Aristophanes (drama)

(Ancient Greece, c. 399-387)
– Plato (non-fiction: philosophy)

Meno (Ancient Greece, c. 387-380)
– Plato (non-fiction: philosophy)

Phaedo (Ancient Greece, c. 380-360)
– Plato (non-fiction: philosophy)

Rhetoric (Ancient Greece, c. 335-323 BCE)
– Aristotle (non-fiction: philosophy)

Metaphysics (Ancient Greece, c. 335-323 BCE)
– Aristotle (non-fiction: philosophy)

On the Soul (Ancient Greece, c. 335-323 BCE)
– Aristotle (non-fiction: philosophy)

Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali (India, c. 300 BCE-400 CE)
– Patañjali (religious text)

Han Feizi (China, c. 281-233 BCE)
– Han Fei (attrib.) (non-fiction: political philosophy)

Amphitryon (Roman Republic, c. 220-184 BCE)
– Plautus (drama)

Pseudolus (Roman Republic, c. 220-184 BCE)
– Plautus (drama)

The Dhammapada
(India, 200-100 BCE)
– Anonymous (religious text)

Poems (esp. Attis) (Roman Republic, c. 65-54 BCE)
– Catullus (poetry: lyric)

Eclogues (Bucolics) (Roman Republic, 39-38 BCE)
– Virgil (poetry: lyric)

Ars Amatoria (The Art of Love) (Roman Empire, 2 CE)
– Ovid (poetry: lyric)

Vimalakirti Sutra (India, c. 100 CE)
– Anonymous (religious text)

Satires (esp. True History (A True Story)) (Roman Empire/Syria, c. 125-190 CE)
– Lucian (fiction: stories)

The Satires (Roman Empire, c. 98-138 CE)
– Juvenal (poetry: lyric)

Lotus Sutra (India, c. 200 CE)
– Anonymous (religious text)

The Enneads (Egypt/Roman Empire, 270 CE)
– Plotinus (non-fiction: philosophy)

The City of God
(Algeria/Roman Empire, 426 CE)
– Augustine of Hippo (non-fiction: religion)

Returning To Live in the Country (Returning to the Farm to Dwell) (China, c. 380-427 CE)
– Tao Yuanming (Tao Qian) (poetry: lyric)

Returning Home (China, c. 380-427 CE)
– Tao Yuanming (Tao Qian) (poetry: lyric)

On Moving House (China, c. 380-427 CE)
– Tao Yuanming (Tao Qian) (poetry: lyric)

In the Sixth Month of 409, Fire (China, c. 380-427 CE)
– Tao Yuanming (Tao Qian) (poetry: lyric)

Twenty Poems After Drinking Wine (China, c. 380-427 CE)
– Tao Yuanming (Tao Qian) (poetry: lyric)

On Reading the Classic of Mountains and Seas (China, c. 380-427 CE)
– Tao Yuanming (Tao Qian) (poetry: lyric)

The Hanging Poems (Mu’allaqat)
 (Arabia, c. 550-630 CE)
– Anonymous (poetry: lyric)

Poems (esp. A Quiet Night ThoughtLong YearningFarewell to Meng Hao-jan, Drinking Alone in the Moonlight, The Moon at the Fortified Pass, and Chuang Tzu and the Butterfly) (China, c. 715-762 CE)
– Li Bai (Li Po) (poetry: lyric)

Poems (esp. Song of an Old CypressTo My Retired Friend Wei, Thinking of Li Bai at the End of the Sky, Spring Night in the Left Office, Moonlit Night, and Ballad of the Army Carts) (China, c. 725-770)
– Du Fu (Tu Fu) (poetry: lyric)

Jujushinron (Ten Stages of the Development of the Mind) (Japan, 830 CE)
– Kukai (religious text)

Kathāsaritsāgara (The Ocean of Rivers of Story) (India, c. 1050-1080)
– Somadeva (fiction: stories/poetry: narrative)

Deliverance from Error (Persia, c. 1100)
– Al-Ghazali (non-fiction: memoir)

The Assemblies of al-Hariri (Iraq, c. 1100-1122)
– Al-Hariri of Basra (poetry: lyric)

Perceval, the Story of the Grail (France, c. 1181-1190)
– Chrétien de Troyes (poetry: narrative)

Commentary on the Four Books (China, c. 1180-1200)
– Zhu Xi (non-fiction: philosophy/religion)

Guide for the Perplexed 
(Spain/Morocco, c. 1190-1204)
– Maimonides (Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon) (non-fiction: philosophy/religion)

Tristan (Germany, c. 1150-1210)
– Gottfried von Strassburg (poetry: narrative)

Parzifal Germany, c. 1200-1220)
– Wolfram von Eschenbach (poetry: narrative)

Summa Theologica (Italy, 1265-1274)
– Thomas Aquinas (non-fiction: religion)

Romance of the Rose (France, 1230 [Pt. 1], 1275 [Pt. 2])
– Guillaume de Lorris (Pt. 1) & Jean de Meun (Pt. 2) (poetry: narrative)

The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch (China, c. 1200-1280)
– Anonymous (religious text)

The New Life (Italy, 1295)
– Dante Alighieri (poetry: narrative)

Tsurezuregusa (Essays in Idleness) (Japan, 1330-1332) 
– Yoshida Kenko (non-fiction: essays)

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (England, c. 1350)
– Anonymous (poetry: narrative)

Muqaddimah (Tunisia, 1377)
– Ibn Khaldun (non-fiction: history)

(Japan, c. 1380-1443)
– Zeami Motokiyo (drama)

Poems (esp. Celestial Love and The Doom of Beauty) (Italy, 1475-1564)
– Michelangelo (Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni) (poetry: lyric)

La Celestine (The Spanish Bawd) (Spain, 1499)
– Fernando de Rojas (drama)

Epic of Layla and Majnun (Turkey/Ottoman Empire, c. 1540-1556)
– Fużūlī (poetry: narrative)

The Heptameron (France, 1558)
– Marguerite de Navarre (fiction: linked stories)

The Lusiads (Portugal, 1572)
– Luís Vaz de Camões (poetry: narrative)

Astrophel and Stella (England, c. 1580)
– Philip Sydney (poetry: narrative)

Jerusalem Delivered (Italy, 1581)
– Torquato Tasso (poetry: narrative)

Tamburlaine, Pts. 1 and 2 (England, 1587-1588)
– Christopher Marlowe (drama)

The Jew of Malta (England, c. 1589)
– Christopher Marlowe (drama)

The Spanish Tragedy 
(England, 1582-1592)
– Thomas Kyd (drama)

Edward II (England, 1592)
– Christopher Marlowe (drama)

Poems (esp. On my First Son and Song To Celia (“Drink to me only with  thine eyes”)) (England, c. 1595-1637)
– Ben Jonson (poetry: lyric)

The Faerie Queen (England, 1590 [Bks. I-III], 1596 [Bks. IV-VI])
– Edmund Spenser (poetry: narrative)

Essays (England, 1597)
– Francis Bacon (non-fiction: essays)

The Advancement of Learning (England, 1605)
– Francis Bacon (non-fiction: education/science)

The Duchess of Malfi (England, 1614)
– John Webster (drama)

Poems (esp. Upon Julia’s Clothes) (England, c. 1617-1674)
– Robert Herrick (poetry: lyric)

Novum Organum (England, 1620)
– Francis Bacon (non-fiction: philosophy)

New Atlantis 
(England, 1623-1626, pub. 1627)
– Francis Bacon (fiction: novel)

‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore (England, 1633)
– John Ford (drama)

Poems (esp. To His Coy Mistress) (England, c. 1634-1678) 
– Andrew Marvell (poetry: lyric)

Lycidas (England, 1637)
– John Milton (poetry: narrative)

Ridiculous Precieuses (France, 1659)
– Molière (drama)

School for Husbands (France, 1661)
– Molière (drama)

The Physician in Spite of Himself (France, 1666)
– Molière (drama)

Andromache (France, 1667)
– Jean Racine (drama)

The Learned Ladies (France, 1672)
– Molière (drama)

The Country Wife 
(England, 1675)
– William Wycherley (drama)

The Plain Dealer (England, 1676)
– William Wycherley (drama)

All for Love (England, 1678)
– John Dryden (drama)

Maxims (France, 1680)
– François de la Rochefoucauld (non-fiction: manners/philosophy/politics)

Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (England, 1687)
– Isaac Newton (non-fiction: science)

Two Treatises of Government (England, 1689)
– John Locke (non-fiction: political philosophy)

Love for Love (England, 1695)
– William Congreve (drama)

Poems (esp. Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot) (GB, c. 1705 -1744)
– Alexander Pope (poetry: lyric/narrative)

The Beggar’s Opera (GB, 1728)
– John Gay (drama)

Manon Lescaut 
(France, 1731)
– Abbé Prévost (fiction: novel)

Chushingura (The Treasury of Loyal Retainers) (Japan, c. 1748)
– Takeda Izumo II (drama)

Émile, or On Education (Switzerland/France, 1762)
– Jean-Jacques Rousseau (non-fiction: education/philosophy)

The Rivals (GB, 1775)
– Richard Brinsley Sheridan (drama)

Common Sense (GB/US, 1776)
– Thomas Paine (non-fiction: political philosophy)

The Declaration of Independence (US, 1776)
– Thomas Jefferson (non-fiction: political philosophy)

The Wealth of Nations (GB, 1776)
– Adam Smith (non-fiction: economics)

Evelina (GB, 1778)
– Fanny Burney (fiction: novel)

Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (GB, 1779)
– David Hume (non-fiction: philosophy)

Poetical Sketches 
(GB, 1783)
– William Blake (poetry: lyric)

The Marriage of Figaro (France, 1784)
– Pierre Beaumarchais (drama)

The Federalist Papers (US, 1787-1788)
– James Madison, Alexander Hamilton & John Jay (non-fiction: political philosophy)

Hymns and Fragments (Germany, c. 1790-1843)
– Friedrich Hölderlin (poetry: lyric)

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (US, 1791)
– Benjamin Franklin (non-fiction: memoir)

The Rights of Man (GB/US/France, 1791)
– Thomas Paine (non-fiction: political philosophy)

The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (GB, 1790-1793)
– William Blake (poetry: lyric)

Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship 
(Germany, 1796)
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (fiction: novel)

Castle Rackrent
(UK, 1800)
– Maria Edgeworth (fiction:novel)

 (esp. So, We’ll Go No More A Roving and She Walks In Beauty) (UK, c. 1805-1824)
– Lord Byron (George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron) (poetry: narrative/lyric)

Poems (esp. Ozymandias) (UK, c. 1810-1822)
– Percy Bysshe Shelley (poetry: lyric)

Waverley (UK, 1814)
– Walter Scott (fiction: novel)

Mansfield Park (UK, 1814)
– Jane Austen (fiction: novel)

(UK, 1818)
– Jane Austen (fiction: novel)

Ivanhoe (UK, 1820)
– Walter Scott (fiction: novel)

Melmoth the Wanderer (Ireland, 1820)
– Charles Maturin (fiction: novel)

The Prince of Homburg (Germany, 1809-1810, pub. 1821)
– Heinrich von Kleist (drama)

Boris Godunov (Russia, 1825)
– Alexander Pushkin (drama)

The Last of the Mohicans 
(US, 1826)
– James Fenimore Cooper (fiction: novel)

The Wild Ass’s Skin (France, 1831)
– Honoré de Balzac (fiction: novel)

Stories (esp. The Overcoat and The Nose) (Russia, c. 1831-1842)
– Nikolai Gogol (fiction: stories)

Louis Lambert (France, 1832)
– Honoré de Balzac (fiction: novel)

The Girl with the Golden Eyes (France, 1833)
– Honoré de Balzac (fiction: novel)

Poems (esp. My Last Duchess) (UK, c. 1833-1889)
– Robert Browning (poetry: lyric)

The Inspector General (The Government Inspector) (Russia, 1836)
– Nikolai Gogol (drama)

Tales and Sketches (esp. Young Goodman Brown) (US, 1837-1864)
– Nathaniel Hawthorne (fiction: stories)

Poems (esp. Dover Beach and The Scholar Gipsy) (UK, c. 1837-1888)
– Matthew Arnold (poetry: lyric)

The Deerslayer (US, 1841)
– James Fenimore Cooper (fiction: novel)

Ursule Mirouet 
(France, 1841)
– Honoré de Balzac (fiction: novel)

Mary Barton (UK, 1848)
– Elizabeth Gaskell (fiction: novel)

Nature (US, 1849)
– Ralph Waldo Emerson (non-fiction: essay)

Poems (esp. A Ballad of Death) (UK, c. 1849-1909)
– Algernon Charles Swinburne (poetry: lyric)

North and South (UK, 1854-1855)
– Elizabeth Gaskell (fiction: novel)

The Warden (UK, 1855)
– Anthony Trollope (fiction: novel)

Children’s and Household Tales (Grimm’s Fairy Tales) (seven editions) (Germany, 1812-1857)
– Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm (fiction: stories)

Barchester Towers (UK, 1857)
– Anthony Trollope (fiction: novel)

Adam Bede (UK, 1859)
– George Eliot (fiction: novel)

First Love  (Russia, 1860)
– Ivan Turgenev (fiction: novel)

The Storm 
(Russia, 1860)
– Alexander Ostrovsky (drama)

Tales (esp. The Enchanted Wanderer) (Russia, 1862-1895)
– Nikolai Leskov (fiction: stories)

Our Mutual Friend (UK, 1864)
– Charles Dickens (fiction: novel)

Brand (Norway, 1866)
– Henrik Ibsen (drama)

Thérèse Raquin (France, 1867)
– Émile Zola (fiction: novel)

The Moonstone (UK, 1868)
– Wilkie Collins (fiction: novel)

Phineas Finn (UK, 1869)
– Anthony Trollope (fiction: novel)

The Drunken Boat (France, 1871)
– Arthur Rimbaud (poetry: lyric)

Erewhon (UK, 1872)
– Samuel Butler (fiction: novel)

Around the World in Eighty Days (France, 1873)
– Jules Verne (fiction: novel)

(France, 1874)
– Arthur Rimbaud (poetry: lyric)

Daniel Deronda (UK, 1876)
– George Eliot (fiction: novel)

L’Assommoir (France, 1877)
– Émile Zola (fiction: novel)

Stories (esp. Kabuliwallah (The Fruitseller from Kabul), Kshudita Pashan (The Hungry Stones), and Nastanirh (The Broken Nest)) (India, c. 1877-1941)
– Rabindranath Tagore (fiction: stories)

Ben-Hur (US, 1880)
– Lew Wallace (fiction: novel)

Nana (France, 1880)
– Émile Zola (fiction: novel)

The Red Room (Sweden, 1880)
– August Strindberg (fiction: novel)

Ghosts (Norway, 1881)
– Henrik Ibsen (drama)

Little Novels of Sicily (Italy, 1883)
– Giovanni Verga (fiction: stories)

The Wild Duck
(Norway, 1885)
– Henrik Ibsen (drama)

The Bostonians (US/UK, 1886)
– Henry James (fiction: novel)

Beyond Good and Evil (Germany, 1886)
– Friedrich Nietzsche (non-fiction: philosophy)

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (UK, 1886)
– Robert Louis Stevenson (fiction: novella)

Fortunata and Jacinta (Spain, 1887)
– Benito Pérez Galdós (fiction: novel)

The People of Hemsö (Sweden, 1887)
– August Strindberg (fiction: novel)

The Maias (Portugal, 1888)
– José Maria de Eça de Queiroz (fiction: novel)

The Master of Ballantrae (UK, 1889)
– Robert Louis Stevenson (fiction: novel)

News from Nowhere (UK, 1890)
– William Morris (fiction: novel)

The House by the Medlar Tree 
(Italy, 1890)
– Giovanni Verga (fiction: novel)

The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion (The Golden Bough: A Study in Comparative Religion(UK, 1890)
– James George Frazer (non-fiction: religion/mythology)

Diary of a Nobody (UK, 1892)
– George & Weedon Grossmith (fiction: novel)

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (UK, 1892)
– Arthur Conan Doyle (fiction: stories)

Arms and the Man (Ireland/UK, 1894)
– George Bernard Shaw (drama)

The Seagull (Russia, 1896)
– Anton Chekhov (drama)

(Spain, 1897)
– Benito Pérez Galdós (fiction: novel)

The Invisible Man (UK, 1897)
– H.G. Wells (fiction: novel)

Stories (esp. Idgah and Kafan) (India, c. 1900-1936)
– Premchand (Dhanpat Rai) (fiction: stories)

A Dream Play 
(Sweden, 1901)
– August Strindberg (drama)

The Dance of Death (Sweden, 1901)
– August Strindberg (drama)

The Souls of Black Folk (US, 1903)
– W.E.B. Du Bois (non-fiction: sociology)

(esp. Dulce et Decorum Est) (UK, c. 1903-1918)
– Wilfred Owen (poetry: lyric)

The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (Germany, 1904)
– Max Weber (non-fiction: economics/history)

Riders to the Sea (Ireland, 1904)
– John Millington Synge (drama)

The Confusions of Young Törless (Germany, 1906)
– Robert Musil (fiction: novel)

New Poems: First Part and Other Part (Austria, 1907)
– Rainer Maria Rilke (poetry: lyric)

Poems (esp. The Red Wheelbarrow) (US, 1909-1963)
– William Carlos Williams (poetry: lyric/narrative)

Under Western Eyes (Poland/UK, 1911)
– Joseph Conrad (fiction: novel)

Zuleika Dobson
(UK, 1911)
– Max Beerbohm (fiction: novel)

Short Stories 
(esp. The Garden Party) (New Zealand, 1912-1923)
– Katherine Mansfield (fiction: stories)

Le Grand Meaulnes (France, 1913)
– Henry Alain-Fournier (fiction: novel)

Stories (esp. Rashomon) (Japan, c. 1913-1927)
– Ryūnosuke Akutagawa (fiction: stories)

Relativity: The Special and the General Theory (Germany, 1917)
– Albert Einstein (non-fiction: science)

The Elements of Style (US, 1918)
– William Strunk & E.B. White (non-fiction: reference)

The Magnificent Ambersons (US, 1918)
– Booth Tarkington (fiction: novel)

Eminent Victorians (UK, 1918)
– Lytton Strachey (non-fiction: biography)

Heartbreak House (Ireland/UK, 1919)
– George Bernard Shaw (drama)

Poems (esp. Harlem (Dream Deferred)) (US, c. 1920-1967)
– Langston Hughes (poetry: lyric)

The True Story of Ah Q (China, 1921-1922)
– Lu Xun (Lu Hsun) (fiction: novella)

(Germany/Switzerland, 1922)
– Hermann Hesse (fiction: novel)

A Lost Lady (US, 1923)
– Willa Cather (fiction: novel)

(France, 1925)
– Jean Cocteau (drama)

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (UK, 1926)
– Agatha Christie (fiction: novel)

The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes (UK, 1927)
– Arthur Conan Doyle (fiction: stories)

Amerika (Czechoslovakia, 1911-1914, pub. 1927)
– Franz Kafka (fiction: novel)

Steppenwolf (Germany/Switzerland, 1927)
– Hermann Hesse (fiction: novel)

Point Counter Point (UK, 1928)
– Aldous Huxley (fiction: novel)

The Threepenny Opera (Germany, 1928)
– Bertolt Brecht (with music by Kurt Weill) (drama)

The Bedbug (USSR, 1929)
– Vladimir Mayakovsky (drama)

Goodbye to All That 
(UK, 1929)
– Robert Graves (non-fiction: memoir)

Stories (esp. The Doctor’s Son) (US, c. 1930-1970)
– John O’Hara (fiction: stories)

Mourning Becomes Electra (US, 1931)
– Eugene O’Neill (drama)

The Radetzky March (Austria, 1932
– Joseph Roth (fiction: novel)

Tobacco Road (US, 1932)
– Erskine Caldwell (fiction: novel)

Young Lonigan (US, 1932)
– James T. Farrell (fiction)

Miss Lonelyhearts (US, 1933)
– Nathanael West (fiction: novel)

I, Claudius (UK, 1934)
– Robert Graves (fiction: novel)

The Young Manhood of Studs Lonigan (US, 1934)
– James T. Farrell (fiction: novel)

Call It Sleep (US, 1934)
– Henry Roth (fiction: novel)

Residence on Earth
(Chile, 1933-1935)
– Pablo Neruda (poetry: lyric)

Judgment Day (US, 1935)
– James T. Farrell (fiction: novel)

Poems (esp. My Last Afternoon with Uncle Devereaux Winslow) (US, c. 1935-1977)
– Robert Lowell (poetry: lyric)

The House of Bernarda Alba (Spain, 1936)
– Federico García Lorca (drama)

The Hobbit (UK, 1937)
– J.R.R. Tolkien (fiction: novel)

In Parenthesis (UK, 1937)
– David Jones (poetry: lyric)

Rickshaw Boy (China, 1937)
– Lao She (fiction: novel)

Homage to Catalonia (UK, 1938)
– George Orwell (non-fiction: memoir)

Scoop (UK, 1938)
– Evelyn Waugh (fiction: novel)

The Day of the Locust (US, 1939)
– Nathanael West (fiction: novel)

The Little Foxes 
(US, 1939)
– Lillian Hellman (drama)

The Time of Your Life (US, 1939)
– William Saroyan (drama)

At Swim-Two-Birds (Ireland, 1939)
– Flann O’Brien (Brian O’Nolan) (fiction: novel)

The Third Policeman (Ireland, 1939-1940)
– Flann O’Brien (fiction: novel)

Darkness at Noon (Hungary/UK, 1940)
– Arthur Koestler (fiction: novel)

The Tartar Steppe (Italy, 1940)
– Dino Buzzati (fiction: novel)

Mythology (Germany/US, 1942)
– Edith Hamilton (non-fiction: mythology)

Our Lady of the Flowers (France, 1942-1943)
– Jean Genet (fiction: novel)

The Nature and Destiny of Man 
(US, 1943)
– Reinhold Niebuhr (non-fiction: religion)

(esp. Howl) (US, c. 1943-1997)
– Allen Ginsberg (poetry: lyric)

The Bridge on the Drina (Yugoslavia, 1945)
– Ivo Andrić (fiction: novel)

The Berlin Stories (two novellas) (UK, 1945)
– Christopher Isherwood (fiction: novellas)

The Death of Virgil (Austria, 1945)
– Hermann Broch (fiction: novel)

Pippi Longstocking (Sweden, 1945)
– Astrid Lindgren (fiction: novel)

Hiroshima (US, 1946)
– John Hersey (non-fiction: journalism)

The Makioka Sisters (Japan, 1948)
– Jun’ichirō Tanizaki (fiction: novel)

The Cocktail Party (US/UK, 1949)
– T.S. Eliot (drama)

The Kingdom of This World 
(Cuba, 1949)
– Alejo Carpentier (fiction: novel)

The Man with the Golden Arm (US, 1949)
– Nelson Algren (fiction: novel)

The Sheltering Sky (US, 1949)
– Paul Bowles (fiction: novel)

Canto General (Chile, 1938-1950)
– Pablo Neruda (poetry: lyric)

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (first in Chronicles of Narnia series) (UK, 1950)
– C.S. Lewis (fiction: novel)

A Town Like Alice (UK, 1950)
– Nevil Shute (fiction: novel)

The Family Moskat (Poland/US, 1950)
– Isaac Bashevis Singer (fiction: novel)

The Story of Art (Austria/UK, 1950)
– Ernst Gombrich (non-fiction: art history)

The Opposing Shore (France, 1951
– Julien Gracq (fiction: novel)

Foundation (USSR/US, 1951)
– Isaac Asimov (fiction: novel)

From Here to Eternity 
(US, 1951)
– James Jones (fiction: novel)

The Chairs (Romania/France, 1952)
– Eugène Ionesco (drama)

Collected Poems: 1934-1952 (UK, 1952)
– Dylan Thomas (poetry: lyric)

The Crucible (US, 1952)
– Arthur Miller (drama)

Wise Blood (US, 1952)
– Flannery O’Connor (fiction: novel)

Lucky Jim (UK, 1953)
– Kingsley Amis (fiction: novel)

Under the Net (UK, 1954)
– Iris Murdoch (fiction: novel)

Bonjour Tristesse (France, 1954)
– Françoise Sagan (fiction: novel)

The Quiet American (UK, 1955)
– Graham Greene (fiction: novel)

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (US, 1955)
– Tennessee Williams (drama)

The Talented Mr. Ripley
(UK, 1955)
– Patricia Highsmith (fiction: novel)

The Recognitions (US, 1955)
– William Gaddis (fiction: novel)

Notes of a Native Son (US, 1955)
– James Baldwin (non-fiction: essays)

The Fall (France, 1956)
– Albert Camus (fiction: novel)

Seize the Day (US, 1956)
– Saul Bellow (fiction: novel)

Things of This World (US, 1956)
– Richard Wilbur (poetry: lyric)

Palace of Desire (Egypt, 1957)
– Naguib Mahfouz (fiction: novel)

Sugar Street (Egypt, 1957)
– Naguib Mahfouz (fiction: novel)

The Wapshot Chronicle (US, 1957)
– John Cheever (fiction: novel)

The Once and Future King
(UK, 1958)
– T.H. White (fiction: novel)

Krapp’s Last Tape (Ireland/France, 1958)
– Samuel Beckett (drama)

Titus Alone (UK, 1959)
– Mervyn Peake (fiction: novel)

Naked Lunch (US, 1959)
– William Burroughs (fiction: novel)

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (UK, 1961)
– Muriel Spark (fiction: novel)

The Wretched of the Earth (France, 1961)
– Franz Fanon (non-fiction: psychology/political philosophy)

The Woman in the Dunes (Japan, 1962)
– Kobo Abe (fiction: novel)

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (US, 1962)
– Edward Albee (drama)

Paterson (US, 1946-1963)
– William Carlos Williams (poetry: narrative)

Cat’s Cradle (US, 1963)
– Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (fiction: novel)

The Spy Who Came In From the Cold 
(US, 1963)
– John Le Carré (fiction: novel)

The Bell Jar (US, 1963)
– Sylvia Plath (fiction: novel)

V. (US, 1963)
– Thomas Pynchon (fiction: novel)

The Magus 
(UK, 1966)
– John Fowles (fiction: novel)

The Crying of Lot 49 (US, 1966)
– Thomas Pynchon (fiction: novel)

Rosencranz and Guildenstern Are Dead (UK, 1967)
– Tom Stoppard (drama)

The First Circle (USSR, 1968)
– Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (fiction: novel)

The Armies of the Night: History as a Novel/The Novel as History (US, 1968)
– Norman Mailer (non-fiction: journalism)

Myra Breckenridge (US, 1968)
– Gore Vidal (fiction: novel)

The Double Helix 
(US, 1968)
– James Watson (non-fiction: science)

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (US, 1968)
– Tom Wolfe (non-fiction: journalism)

The Godfather (US, 1969)
– Mario Puzo (fiction: novel)

The French Lieutenant’s Woman (UK, 1969)
– John Fowles (fiction: novel)

The Sea of Fertility (four novels) (Japan, 1964-1970, pub. 1969-1971)
– Yukio Mishima (fiction: novels)

Deliverance (US, 1970)
– James Dickey (fiction: novel)

The Ogre (France, 1970)
– Michel Tournier (fiction: novel)

Rabbit Redux (US, 1971)
– John Updike (fiction: novel)

In a Free State 
(Trinidad & Tobago/UK, 1971)
– V.S. Naipaul (fiction: novel)

Henry James: A Biography (five volumes) (US, 1953-1972)
– Leon Edel (non-fiction: biography)

The Siege of Krishnapur (UK, 1973)
– J.G. Farrell (fiction: novel)

The Conservationist (South Africa, 1974)
– Nadine Gordimer (fiction: novel)

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values (US, 1974)
– Robert Pirsig (non-fiction: philosophy)

Dog Soldiers (US, 1974)
– Robert Stone (fiction: novel)

A Dance to the Music of Time (12 novels) (UK, 1951-1975)
– Anthony Powell (fiction: novels)

Humboldt’s Gift (US, 1975)
– Saul Bellow (fiction: novel)

The Periodic Table (Italy, 1975)
– Primo Levi (fiction: novel)

The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales 
(US, 1976)
– Bruno Bettelheim (non-fiction: psychology/criticism)

Samuel Johnson (US, 1977)
– Walter Jackson Bates (non-fiction: biography)

The Sea, the Sea (UK, 1978)
– Iris Murdoch (fiction: novel)

Orientalism (Palestine/US, 1978)
– Edward Said (non-fiction: cultural studies)

Life: A User’s Manual (France, 1978)
– Georges Perec (fiction: novel)

Buried Child (US, 1978)
– Sam Shepard (drama)

The Right Stuff (US, 1979)
– Tom Wolfe (non-fiction: journalism)

The Ghost Writer (US, 1979)
– Philip Roth (fiction: novel)

The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt (US, 1979)
– Edmund Morris (non-fiction: biography)

So Long, See You Tomorrow (US, 1980)
– William Maxwell (fiction: novel)

The Executioner’s Song
(US, 1980)
– Norman Mailer (fiction: novel/non-fiction: biography)

The Name of the Rose (Italy, 1980)
– Umberto Eco (fiction: novel)

True West (US, 1980)
– Sam Shepard (drama)

Obasan (Canada, 1981)
– Joy Kogawa (fiction: novel)

The Changing Light at Sandover (US, 1982)
– James Merrill (poetry: lyric)

Selected Poems (US, 1982)
– Galway Kinnell (poetry: lyric)

‘Master Harold’ … and the Boys (South Africa, 1982)
– Athol Fugard (drama)

The Color Purple (US, 1982)
– Alice Walker (fiction: novel)

The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke (Bohemia/Austria, c. 1897-1926, pub. 1982)
– Rainer Maria Rilke (poetry: lyric)

The Complete Poems: 1927-1979 
(US, 1983)
– Elizabeth Bishop (poetry: lyric)

Glengarry Glen Ross (US, 1984)
– David Mamet (drama)

Neuromancer (US, 1984)
– William Gibson (fiction: novel)

Common Ground: A Turbulent Decade in the Lives of Three American Families (US, 1985)
– J. Anthony Lukas (non-fiction: journalism)

The Accidental Tourist (US, 1985)
– Anne Tyler (fiction: novel)

The Bonfire of the Vanities (US, 1987)
– Tom Wolfe (fiction: novel)

Fences (US, 1987)
– August Wilson (drama)

Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era (US, 1988)
– James M. McPherson (non-fiction: history)

A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and American in Vietnam (US, 1988)
– Neil Sheehan (non-fiction: journalism/history)

The Satanic Verses
(India/UK, 1988)
– Salman Rushdie (fiction: novel)

Nervous Conditions (Zimbabwe, 1988)
– Tsitsi Dangaremba (fiction: novel)

A Prayer for Owen Meany (US, 1989)
– John Irving (fiction: novel)

The Gnostic Gospels (US, 1989)
– Elaine Pagels (non-fiction: religion)

The Remains of the Day (UK, 1989)
– Kazuo Ishiguro (fiction: novel)

The Power of One (South Africa/Australia, 1989)
– Bryce Courtenay (fiction: novel)

Like Water for Chocolate (Mexico, 1989)
– Laura Esquivel (fiction: novel)

The Joy Luck Club (US, 1989)
– Amy Tan (fiction: novel)

New Selected Poems: 1966-1987 (Ireland, 1990)
– Seamus Heaney (poetry: lyric)

The English Patient (Canada, 1992)
– Michael Ondaatje (fiction: novel)

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles
(Japan, 1994)
– Haruki Murakami (fiction: novel)

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (UK, 1994)
– Louis De Bernières (fiction: novel)

The Rings of Saturn (Germany, 1995)
– W.G. Sebald (fiction: novel/non-fiction: essay)

A Fine Balance (India/Canada, 1995)
– Rohinton Mistry (fiction: novel)

The Human Stain (US, 2000)
– Philip Roth (fiction: novel)

The Blind Assassin (Canada, 2000)
– Margaret Atwood (fiction: novel)

Austerlitz (Germany, 2001)
– W.G. Sebald (fiction: novel)

The Known World (US, 2003)
– Edward P. Jones (fiction: novel)

Harry Potter (seven novels) (UK, 1997-2007)
– J.K. Rowling (fiction: novels)

The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer 
(India/US, 2010)
– Siddhartha Mukherjee (non-fiction: medicine)

7 thoughts on “Greatest Works of Literature – Ranked

  1. Anna Bidoonism

    Amazing work: this popularity listing and this list ordered chronologically too. Do you have a page explaining your methodology? Or a section where you cite the original rankings? I’m really interested in how you do this!

    Thanks for you time and dedication

    1. beckchris

      Thanks for the positive feedback – I really appreciate it. In response to your question on methodology, it looks like you found my post “I Was Told There Would Be No Math”, which partly explains my system. Unfortunately, I don’t keep close track of the original source lists. I started doing this quite a few years ago and didn’t think to write down where I got all the lists. I can tell you that I got the lists from books and websites. You can probably find most of them by Googling phrases like “Greatest Literature of All Time” and “Best Books of All Time.”

      1. Anna Bidoonism

        Deeply appreciated. And yes! I did come across the post “I Was Told There Would Be No Math” subsequent to me sending you this query.

        I will say again, the stuff you do is very worthwhile and will be of benefit to a great many when, like me, they stumble across it.

  2. Jon

    It took me a few years, but yesterday I finished reading every entry with 10+ mentions. I tried to read unabridged versions wherever I could get them, so some of these, like The Mahabharata and the Tales of 1001 Nights ended up having word counts in the millions. It took roughly 3.5 years. I think this is probably the best thing I’ve ever done. I was surprised at how many of the books I really loved and I read every day now. Thanks for making the list.

    1. beckchris

      Jon: What an impressive accomplishment! I applaud your commitment to the reading list and am so glad to have been part of the inspiration for your reading journey. Thanks for sharing your experience.

      John B.

  3. Tang Weisheng

    Thank you for the great work! But can you tell me how to read the lists in the works you quote?

    1. beckchris Post author

      Thanks for the positive feedback – I really appreciate it. In response to your question, unfortunately, I don’t keep close track of the original source lists. I started doing this quite a few years ago and didn’t think to write down where I got all the lists. I can tell you that I got the lists from books and websites. You can probably find most of them by Googling phrases like “Greatest Literature of All Time” and “Best Books of All Time.”


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