10-1 Literary Texts—World Literature: Latin and Central America


Note: Teachers may choose texts from the list in a number of ways. They might include one mid-length novel or two short novels; a play; a selection of poems by various authors; and a nonfiction essay.

Short Stories
Argentina
Cuba
Chile
  • The Short Stories of Eva Luna (Isabel Allende) (selections)
Colombia
  • “The Sea of Lost Time” (Gabriel García Márquez)
  • “No One Writes to the Colonel” (Gabriel García Márquez)
  • “Chronicle of a Death Foretold” (Gabriel García Márquez)

Novels
Chile
  • House of Spirits (Isabel Allende and Magda Bogin)
Mexico (L1280)
  • The Underdogs: A Novel of the Mexican Revolution (Mariano Azuela and Sergio Waisman, trans.)(L850)
  • The Book of Lamentations (Rosario Castellanos)
  • Like Water for Chocolate (Laura Esquivel and Thomas Christensen, trans.) (L1030)
  • The Old Gringo (Carlos Fuentes and Margaret Sayers Peden, trans.)
Columbia
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude (Gabriel García Márquez) (L1410)

Plays
  • The Impostor: A Play for Demagogues (Rodolfo Usigli and Ramon Layera, trans.) (Mexico)

Poems
Mexico
  • Eagle or Sun? (prose poems) (Octavio Paz) (selections)
Chile
  • Gabriela Mistral: A Reader (Gabriela Mistral, Maria Giachetti, trans., Marjorie Agosin, ed.) (selections)
  • “Book of Twilight” (Pablo Neruda)
  • "Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair"(Pablo Neruda and W.S. Merwin, trans.) (selections)

Informational Texts

Informational Text
  • “Complex Feelings about Borges” in The Noé Jitrik Reader: Selected Essays on Latin American Literature (Noé Jitrik and Susan E. Benner, trans.) (essays on Borges and Cortázar)
  • The Noé Jitrik Reader: Selected Essays on Latin American Literature (Noé Jitrik and Susan E. Benner, trans.)
  • Excerpts from The Testimony of Contemporary Latin American Authors (Doris Meyer, ed.)

Speeches

10-2 Literary Texts—World Literature: Asia

Note: This unit should include excerpts from an ancient work; one novel; one play; several short stories; and a long poem or selection of poems. The teacher may choose two novels or two plays instead of one novel and one play. In addition, students should consult informational texts and secondary sources, online and in the library, for their essays.

Novels
China
India
  • Midnight’s Children (Salman Rushdie) (L1120)
  • In Custody (Anita Desai)
  • Nectar in a Sieve (Kamala Markandaya) (L900)
  • The God of Small Things (Arundhati Roy) (L840)
Japan
  • The Sound of Waves (Yukio Mishima)
  • After Dark (Haruki Murakami)(L710)
  • Norwegian Wood (Haruki Murakami) (L790)

Short Stories
China
Japan
Vietnam
  • The General Retires and Other Stories (Nguyen Huy Thiep)

Plays
China
India

Poems
Sanskrit
  • Excerpts from the Ramayana (attributed to the Hindu sage Valmiki)
China
India

Informational Texts

Informational Text
  • The Columbia Companion to Modern East Asian Literature (Joshua Mostow, ed.)
  • Historical Dictionary of Modern Japanese Literature and Theater (J. Scott Miller)
  • Trading Places: The East India Company and Asia, 1600-1834 (Anthony Farrington)
  • The Scandal of Empire: India and the creation of Imperial Britain (Nicholas B. Dirks)

Literary Nonfiction
China

Autobiography
  • Six Records of a Floating Life (Shen Fu) (China)

Art, Music, and Media
Prompt: How does the study of select Asian objects give us a greater understanding of the depth and diversity of Asian literary forms and genres?

Art
Japan
China
India
Media
  • Chinese Poems of the Tang and Sung Dynasties: Read by Lo Kung-Yuan in Northern Chinese, Peking Dialect (Folkways Records, 1963)
Film
  • Rashomon (1950) (Akira Kurosawa, dir.)
  • Curse of the Golden Flower (2006) (Zhang Yimou, dir.)

10-3 Literary Texts—World Literature: Africa and the Middle East

Note: Teachers may choose texts from the list in a number of ways. They might include one novel or two short novels; a play; a selection of poems by various authors; and a nonfiction essay. They may choose to include ancient and medieval works, or they may focus on modern works. Where possible, teachers should play audio recordings of the poetry read in the original language, so that the students may become familiar with its sounds.

Novels
Turkey
  • My Name is Red (Orhan Pamuk)
Nigeria
  • Things Fall Apart (Chinua Achebe) (E) (L890)
  • The Joys of Motherhood (Buchi Emecheta)
South Africa
  • Cry, the Beloved Country (Alan Paton) (860)
  • Waiting for the Barbarians or Life and Times of Michael K (J.M. Coetzee)
Egypt (L930)
  • The Thief and the Dogs (Naguib Mahfouz)
Senegal
  • So Long a Letter (Mariama Ba)
United Kingdom
  • Martha Quest (Doris Lessing)
Lebanon
  • Beirut Blues (Hanan al-Shaykh)
Kenya
  • The River Between (Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o)

Short Stories
Botswana
  • The Collector of Treasures and Other Botswana Village Tales (Bessie Head)
South Africa
  • Tales from a Troubled Land (Alan Paton)
Mozambique
  • We Killed Mangy-Dog and Other Mozambique Stories (Luis Bernardo Honwana)
Israel
  • The World Is a Room and Other Stories (Yehuda Amichai)
Egypt
Other
Poems

Plays
South Africa
  • “Master Harold”… and the boys (Athol Fugard) (E)
  • Woza Albert! (Percy Mtwa, Mbongeni Ngema, and Barney Simon)
Nigeria
  • Death and the King’s Horseman: A Play (Wole Soyinka) (E)
  • King Baabu (Wole Soyinka) (EA)

Poems
Palestine
  • The Butterfly’s Burden (Mahmoud Darwish)
Israel
  • Open Closed Open: Poems (Yehuda Amichai) (selections)
Iran
General
  • Poems of Black Africa (Wole Soyinka, ed.) (selections)

Informational Texts

Informational Text
Iran
  • Ethics of the Aristocrats and Other Satirical Works (Nezam al-Din Obeyd-e Zakani)
South Africa
  • Living in Hope and History: Notes From Our Century (Nadine Gordimer)

Autobiographies
  • Out of Africa (Isak Dinesen)
  • Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela (Nelson Mandela) (L1120)

Art, Music, and Media
Prompt: How does studying objects from Africa and the Middle East, offer special insight into the literary cultures of these regions?

Africa
Middle East

10-4 Literary Texts--World Literature: Russia

Note: Teachers may substitute a story for another story by the same author, or they may substitute one author for another major author from the same period. The selections should combine well, and there should be a balance of nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature. Roughly 4-5 weeks should be devoted to nineteenth-century works, 2-4 weeks to a pivotal text, and 4-5 weeks to a twentieth-century work and historical readings.

Short Stories

Novels/Novellas
  • Notes from the Underground (Fyodor Dostoevsky) (EA)(L1050)
  • The Death of Ivan Ilyich (Leo Tolstoy) (L1080)
  • One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn) (L900)
  • A Dead Man’s Memoir (Mikhail Bulgakov)

Plays

Poems
  • “The Twelve” (Aleksandr Blok)
  • To Urania” (Joseph Brodsky)

Informational Texts

Informational Text

Literary Nonfiction
  • Nikolai Gogol (Vladimir Nabokov) (chapter 1)
  • A Slap in the Face of Public Taste” (Velimir Khlebnikov, Aleksey Kruchenykh, and Vladimir Mayakovsky)
  • Poets With History and Poets Without History (Marina Tsvetaeva)
  • My Pushkin (Marina Tsvetaeva)
  • Night Wraps the Sky: Writings By and About Mayakovsky (Vladimir Mayakovsky and Michael Almerayda, ed.) (selections)

Art, Music, and Media

Music