ISU Novel Recommendations
For Eng4U - compiled January 2008

4U1–Independent Study: A Culminating Thematic Comparison:

Topics & Related Readings

Mr. Robinson

(Semester 2/08)

Below are the topics with related readings for all components of the Independent Study Assignment in this course (worth _____% of your final mark). Choose one topic and at least two of the related readings. Unless otherwise specified by your teacher, your key fiction sources must be the ones listed below with their respective topic.

No more than two students may choose the same topic. If two students have chosen the same topic, they must be reading different texts under the same category (there are four related readings to choose from).

Remember, you are also required to read additional critical material, author’s background etc. on the texts you choose and you must cite at least ______ critical sources in your final essay.

TOPICS AND RELATED READINGS FOR THE ISU

1. STRESS AND THE MODERN WOMAN

Margaret Laurence,The Diviners

Wally Lamb, She’s Come Undone

Margaret Atwood, The Edible Woman

Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

2. FAMILIAL DYSFUNCTION

Wally Lamb, I Know This Much is True

Annie Proulx, The Shipping News

John Irving, The Hotel New Hampshire

Douglas Coupland, All Families are Psychotic

3. OLD AGE AND THE ELDERLY

Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea

Henry James, The Ambassadors

Carol Shields, The Stone Diaries

J.M. Coetzee, Slow Man

4. POVERTY AND OPPRESSION

Charles Dickens, Hard Times

Frank McCourt, Angela’s Ashes

Gabriel Roy, The Tin Flute

John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

 

5. INDISCRETIONS

Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

Tom Perrota, Little Children

Margaret Laurence, The Fire-Dwellers

Richard B. Wright, Adultery

6. FUTILITY OF WAR

Joseph Heller, Catch-22

Joseph Boyden, Three Day Road

Erich Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front

Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient

7. THE ARTIST’S TEMPERAMENT

John Irving, The World According to Garp

James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse

Margaret Atwood, Cat’s Eye

8. INTERSECTING NARRATIVES AND TRAGEDIES

Douglas Coupland, Hey Nostradamus

Dennis Bock, The Ash Garden

Carol Shields, Swann

Russell Banks, The Sweet Hereafter

9. THE ABUSIVE PARTNER

Alice Walker, The Colour Purple

Russell Banks, Affliction

Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D’Urbervilles

Pete Dexter, Paris Trout

10. ‘FUTURE’ SOCIETIES

Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

George Orwell, 1984

Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

11. COMING OF AGE–MALE

Nick Hornby, High Fidelity

David Gilmour, Lost Between Houses

J.D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye

Russell Banks, Rule of the Bone

12. COMING OF AGE-FEMALE

Alice Munro, Lives of Girls and Women

Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha

Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre

John Irving, A Widow For One Year

13. RACIAL CONFLICT

Nella Larsen, Passing

Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man

Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon

David Guterson, Snow Falling on Cedars

14. THE GOTHIC NOVEL

Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights

Bram Stoker, Dracula

15. NARRATIVE AS POLITICAL ALLEGORY

Voltaire, Candide

Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels

George Orwell, Animal Farm

Franz Kafka, The Trial

16. IMPERIALISM

Joseph Conrad, The Heart of Darkness

Jamaica Kincaid, My Brother

Rohinton Mistry, Such a Long Journey

Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

17. YOUTH, ANGST AND THE GENERATIONAL DIVIDE

Douglas Coupland, The Gum Thief

Rick Moody, The Ice Storm

Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex

Jeffrey Eugenides, The Virgin Suicides

18. MATERIALISM

Sinclair Lewis, Babbitt

Tom Wolfe, Bonfire of the Vanities

George Eliot, Silas Marner

Honore de Balzac, Pere Goriot

19. FATE/DESTINY

Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany

Carol Shields, The Republic of Love

Margaret Laurence, A Jest of God

20. THE UNDERCLASS HERO

John Steinbeck, Cannery Row

Charles Dickens, David Copperfield

John Irving, The Cider House Rules

Henry Fielding, Tom Jones

21. ATTEMPTING TO SURVIVE THE TRAGIC

Rohinton Mistry, A Fine Balance

Anne Marie MacDonald, Fall on Your Knees

Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure

Andrew Pyper, The Lost Girls

22. LOVE IN ALL OF ITS COMPLEXITIES

Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Love in the Time of Cholera

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway

Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

23. THE JOURNEY MOTIF

John Irving, Until I Find You

Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Herman Melville, Moby Dick

Alexander Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo

24. THE PSYCHO

Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho

Patrick Suskind, Perfume

William Faulkner, Sanctuary

Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

25. SUBSTANCE ABUSE

Jay McInerney, Bright Lights, Big City

Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Andre Dupuis, House of Sand and Fog

James Frey, A Million Little Pieces

4U1–Independent Study: A Culminating Thematic Comparison:

Topics & Related Readings (continued–page 5)

Mr. Robinson

(Semester 2/08)

TOPICS AND RELATED READINGS FOR THE ISU

26. THE DISTURBING CRIME

Truman Capote, In Cold Blood

Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men

Ian McEwen, Atonement

Joyce Carol Oates, Black Girl, White Girl

27. SOUTH AFRICAN INTERRACIAL TENSION

J. M. Coetzee, Disgrace

Nadine Gordimer, Occasion for Loving

Doris Lessing, The Grass is Singing

Alan Paton, Cry the Beloved

Adult Novels (Books) By Themes

 

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