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World Literature -- Classics and Literary Fiction Around the World

Most lists of "world classics" are limited to the European diaspora. This list includes works by authors from around the world. It contains classics and epics of old as well as drama, poetry and contemporary literary fiction. One should be familiar with a range of work beyond one's own culture to truly be well-read. This list includes most of the "canon classics" as well as a variety of literature from around the world but it is by no means exhaustive. (Homer and Woolf are, alas, two glaring omissions that were quite unintentional.)
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The Golden Days (Cao Xueqin)
The Golden Days (Cao Xueqin)
2
The Masnavi (Jalal Al-Din Rumi)
The Masnavi (Jalal Al-Din Rumi)
3
The Recognition of Śakuntalā (Kālidāsa)
The Recognition of Śakuntalā (Kālidāsa)
4
The Tale of Genji (Murasaki Shikibu)
The Tale of Genji (Murasaki Shikibu)
5
Monkey by Wu Ch'eng-En (Translated by Arthur Whaley)
Monkey by Wu Ch'eng-En (Translated by Arthur Whaley)
6
Kristin Lavransdatter (Sigrid Undset)
Kristin Lavransdatter (Sigrid Undset)
7
Palace Walk (Naguib Mahfouz)
Palace Walk (Naguib Mahfouz)
8
Swann's Way (Marcel Proust)
Swann's Way (Marcel Proust)
9
Spring Snow (Yukio Mishima)
Spring Snow (Yukio Mishima)
10
The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
11
Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
12
Wuthering Heights (Emily Brontë)
Wuthering Heights (Emily Brontë)
13
Water Margin: Outlaws of the Marsh (Shi Naian)
Water Margin: Outlaws of the Marsh (Shi Naian)
14
They Were Counted
They Were Counted
15
The Waiting Years (Fumiko Enchi)
The Waiting Years (Fumiko Enchi)
16
The God of Small Things (Arundhati Roy)
The God of Small Things (Arundhati Roy)
17
Wide Sargasso Sea (Jean Rhys)
Wide Sargasso Sea (Jean Rhys)
18
Epitaph of a Small Winner (Machado De Assis)
Epitaph of a Small Winner (Machado De Assis)
19
Memoirs of Hadrian (Marguerite Yourcenar, Trans. Grace Frick)
Memoirs of Hadrian (Marguerite Yourcenar, Trans. Grace Frick)
20
Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
21
The Color Purple (Alice Walker)
The Color Purple (Alice Walker)
22
So Long a Letter (Mariama Bâ, Trans. Modupé Bodé-Thomas)
So Long a Letter (Mariama Bâ, Trans. Modupé Bodé-Thomas)
23
Beloved (Toni Morrison)
Beloved (Toni Morrison)
24
Faust (Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe)
Faust (Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe)
25
The Bostan of Saadi
The Bostan of Saadi
26
Pedro Páramo (Juan Rulfo)
Pedro Páramo (Juan Rulfo)
27
Another Country (James Baldwin)
Another Country (James Baldwin)
28
One Hundred Years of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
One Hundred Years of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
29
Thus Were Their Faces (Silvina Ocampo)
Thus Were Their Faces (Silvina Ocampo)
30
Medea (Euripides)
Medea (Euripides)
31
The Book of Lamentations (Rosario Castellanos)
The Book of Lamentations (Rosario Castellanos)
32
Invisible Man (Ralph Ellison)
Invisible Man (Ralph Ellison)
33
Great Expectations (Charles Dickens)
Great Expectations (Charles Dickens)
34
Ulysses (James Joyce)
Ulysses (James Joyce)
35
Moby-Dick (Herman Melville)
Moby-Dick (Herman Melville)
36
Love in a Fallen City (Eileen Chang)
Love in a Fallen City (Eileen Chang)
37
Don Quixote (Miguel De Cervantes)
Don Quixote (Miguel De Cervantes)
38
The Epic of Gilgamesh (Unknown)
The Epic of Gilgamesh (Unknown)
39
The Stranger (Albert Camus)
The Stranger (Albert Camus)
40
The Bone People (Keri Hulme)
The Bone People (Keri Hulme)
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