Summer Reading, Fall Teaching


15 April 2010

I’m working on a syllabus for a seminar course this fall called “The First Person.”  It’s been fun to pull together a list of books that use first-person narration in interesting ways.  Here’s what I’ve got so far (this is the brainstorm list):

Jesus’ Son by Denis Johnson
Kate Vaiden by Reynolds Price
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Everything in This Country Must by Colum McCann
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Ours: A Russian Family Album by Sergei Dovlatov
Last Evenings on Earth by Roberto Bolano
A Sport and a Pastime by James Salter
Our Kind by Kate Walbert
And Then We Came to An End by Joshua Ferris
The Sweet Hereafter by Russell Banks
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov
“Notes to my Biographer” by Adam Haslett
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon
King by John Berger
Any Human Heart by William Boyd
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

Additions?  Comments?  Memorable first-person narrators that come to mind? Why are there so few women authors on this list?!  Help, my friends.


5 Responses to “Summer Reading, Fall Teaching”

  1. Danny Says:

    Notes From Underground by Fyodor Doestoevsky

  2. eric Says:

    “The Virgin Suicides” by Jeffrey Eugenides- plural first person like “And Then We Came To An End” by Ferris

  3. Chris K. Says:

    Hi Sonya,

    Dazzling/edgy newish(2008) short story collection from Ali Smith call “The First Person”. Nice shifts in POVs here.

  4. Wendy Says:

    Hi Sonya, here are a few (2 by women) Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto, Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys, Life of Pi by Yann Martel.

  5. Ann Says:

    a woman for you: Amy Tan, The Kitchen God’s Wife

    a man for you: j.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

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