The tricky part of creating a syllabus for the late 19th and 20th centuries is deciding what to leave out. There's so much to read and so little time, but this is an amazing course with a stunning and challenging syllabus. It's perfect for the literary-minded high school junior or senior. 

David Copperfield, our first novel, was the favorite and most autobiographical of all Dickens's books. Whitman's ground-breaking poetry collection, Leaves of Grass, is next. Then we push through some of the greatest novels ever written: Dostoyevski's Crime and Punishment, Hardy's Return of the Native, Twain's Huckleberry Finn, and Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. We look at the poetry of the Modernists and some short stories by Kafka, O'Connor, and Hemingway. We dip our toes into some Faulkner (warning: he's hard to read!) and read Orwell's political allegory Animal Farm. We cover classic high school texts The Old Man and Sea and Lord of the Flies, and finish up with the two well-loved recent works: C.S. Lewis's The Great Divorce and the 21st century novel (and universal student favorite), Peace Like a River

For 2016-17, this class meets live on Wednesdays from 12:30-1:30 PM, Eastern Standard Time. All sessions will be recorded and made available to enrolled students. 

Click here for Class Session Calendar

Syllabus includes: 

  • David Copperfield, Dickens
  • Selected poems from Leaves of Grass, Whitman
  • Crime and Punishment, Dostoyevski
  • Return of the Native, Hardy
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Twain
  • The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald
  • Selected poems by Pound, Eliot, Williams, etc.
  • Selected short stories by Kafka, O’Connor, Hemingway
  • Our Town, Wilder
  • Go Down Moses, Faulkner
  • Animal Farm, Orwell
  • The Old Man and The Sea, Hemingway
  • The Crucible, Miller
  • Lord of the Flies, Golding
  • The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis
  • Peace Like a River, Leif Enger

The specific editions below are recommended for the course. Some of the works are English translations. I recommend purchasing the books from the links below. If you prefer another way of obtaining the books, be sure to take note of the editions and, more importantly, the particular translations. 

I will provide free versions of some of the poems and short stories. 

Disclosure: I receive a small commission when you purchase via the links below.