Entertainment/Novels - World

From Quiz Revision Notes

Chinua Achebe was born in Nigeria.

Things Fall Apart – debut novel. Published in 1958. Follows the life of Okonkwo, an Igbo man and local wrestling champion in Nigeria. Title taken from a line in The Second Coming by W.B. Yeats.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was born in Nigeria

Half of a Yellow Sun – tells the story of the Nigerian Civil War (Biafran War) from 1967 to 1970. Winner of the 2007 Orange Prize.

Aravind Adiga was born in India.

The White Tiger – studies the contrast between India's rise as a modern global economy and the lead character, Balram, who comes from crushing rural poverty. Winner of the 2008 Booker Prize.

Alain-Fournier was born in France. Killed in action in 1914, aged 27.

Le Grand Meaulnes – only novel. François Seurel narrates the story of his friendship with Augustin Meaulnes.

Isabel Allende is a Chilean writer, born in Peru. Her father was a first cousin of Salvador Allende. Awarded the 2014 Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The House of the Spirits (1982) – debut novel. Details the life of the Trueba family, spanning four generations, and tracing the post-colonial social and political upheavals of Chile.

For other works by this author see: Literature - Childrens

Miguel Angel Asturias was a writer and diplomat, born in Guatemala. He was awarded the 1967 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Leyendas de Guatemala (Legends of Guatemala, 1930) – first book to be published. A collection of nine stories that explore Mayan myths.

El Senor Presidente (1946) – was written in exile in Paris. The plot is influenced by Guatemalan president Manuel Estrada Cabrera, a dictator who uses brutal methods to assert his authority.

Hombres de Maiz (Men of Maize, 1949) – explores the contrast of traditional Mayan customs and a progressive, modernizing society.

The Banana Trilogy (1950-1960) – concerns the exploitation of the native Indians on banana plantations. The novels are: Strong Wind, The Green Pope and The Eyes of the Interred.

Mulata de tal (A Kind of Mulatto, 1963) – concerns Celestino Yumi, a Guatemalan peasant, who sells his wife to the devil.

Margaret Atwood was born in Canada. She is the inventor of the LongPen remote signing device.

The Edible Woman (1969) – debut novel. An early example of the feminist concerns found in many of Atwood's works.

The Handmaid’s Tale (1985) – is a dystopian novel set in a totalitarian state, known as Republic of Gilead, that has overthrown the United States government. The central character and narrator is Offred, one of the group known as "handmaids", who are forcibly assigned to produce children for the "commanders" – the ruling class of men in Gilead.

Oryx and Crake (2003) – is a post-apocalyptic novel that focuses on a character called Snowman, who lives near a group of primitive human-like creatures whom he calls Crakers. First of the MaddAddam trilogy, followed by The Year of the Flood (2009) and MaddAddam (2013).

The Penelopiad (2005) – is a parallel novel that takes an alternative view of the story of Odysseus by focusing on Odysseus's wife, Penelope, and her twelve maids. Most of the novel follows Penelope's struggle when Odysseus takes twenty years to take part in the siege of Troy and return to Ithaca.

The Testaments – is a sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale. Set fifteen years after the events of The Handmaid's Tale. Alternates between the perspectives of three women – Aunt Lydia, Agnes, and Daisy. Joint winner of the 2019 Booker Prize.

For other works by this author see: Historical Fiction

Honore de Balzac was born in France.

La Comedie humaine (The Human Comedy) is the title of a multi-volume collection of interlinked novels and stories published between 1829 and 1848 depicting French society in the period of the Restoration and the July Monarchy (1815–1848).

Giovanni Boccaccio was born in the Republic of Florence in 1313.

The Decameron, subtitled Prince Galehaut, is a medieval allegory told as a frame story encompassing 100 tales by ten young people told over 10 days. In Italy during the time of the Black Death, a group of seven young women and three young men flee from plague-ridden Florence to a villa, where no one lives, in the countryside of Fiesole for two weeks. Contains more parallels to the Canterbury Tales than any other work.

Roberto Bolano was born in Chile.

The Savage Detectives (1998) – tells the story of the search for a 1920s Mexican poet, Cesarea Tinajero, by Arturo Belano (alter ego of Bolano) and Ulises Lima.

2666 – last novel. Published posthumously in 2004. Divided into five parts, concerned with violence and death.

Jorge Luis Borges was born in Argentina.

Ficciones (Fictions, 1944) – is a collection of short stories. Divided into two sections – The Garden of Forking Paths, and Artifices.

El Aleph (The Aleph, 1949) – is a book of short stories. The title work, The Aleph, describes a point in space that contains all other spaces at once.

E(ustace) R(icardo) Braithwaite was born in Guyana. During World War II, he joined the Royal Air Force as a pilot.

To Sir, With Love (1959) – is an autobiographical novel set in the East End of London. Adapted into a 1967 film starring Sidney Poitier and Lulu.

Andre Breton was born in France and was the leader of the surrealist movement.

Nadja (1928) – is a semi-autobiographical novel. It starts with the question “Who am I?”.

Mikhail Bulgakov was born in Kiev, which was part of the Russian Empire. He wrote mostly about the horrors of the Russian Civil War.

The White Guard (1925) – concerns the fate of the Turbin family during the fight for Kiev during the Ukrainian War of Independence.

The Master and Margarita (1967) – begins with Satan visiting Moscow in the 1930s, joining a conversation between a critic and a poet debating the most effective method of denying the existence of Jesus Christ. It develops into an all-embracing indictment of the corruption of communism and Soviet Russia.

Ivan Bunin was born in Russia, and fled from Moscow to Odessa following the Russian Revolution of 1917, and emigrated to France in 1920, He was the first Russian writer awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature (1933).

The Village (1910) – is a bleak portrayal of Russian country life.

Dry Valley (1912) – concerns the dire state of the Russian rural community.

The Life of Arseniev (1933) is Bunin’s only full-length novel. Autobiographical novel, written when Bunin lived in France.

Dark Avenues (1946) – is a collection of short stories.

Italo Calvino was an Italian writer born in Cuba.

Invisible Cities (1972) – is a conversation between Kublai Khan and Marco Polo about the cities that Polo has visited.

If on a winter's night a traveler (1979) – is about the reader trying to read a book called If on a winter's night a traveler.

Albert Camus was a philosopher and author, born in French Algeria. Awarded the 1957 Nobel Prize in Literature. He played goalkeeper for the Racing Universitaire d'Alger junior team. Died in 1960 in a car accident.

L‘Etranger (The Stranger, 1942) – was also published as The Outsider. Tells the story of an alienated man, Meursault, who eventually commits a murder and waits to be executed. First line: “Mother died today”.

La Peste (The Plague, 1947) – tells the story from the point of view of a narrator of a plague sweeping the city of Oran.

La Chute (The Fall, 1956) – is set in Amsterdam and consists of a series of monologues by the self-proclaimed ‘judge-penitent’ Jean-Baptiste Clamence, as he reflects upon his life to a stranger.

Le Premier Homme (The First Man) – unfinished final novel. Published posthumously in 1994. Tells the story of the early years of Jacques Cormery.

For other works by this author see: Plays

Peter Carey was born in Australia.

Oscar and Lucinda – tells the story of Oscar Hopkins, an Anglican priest, and Lucinda Leplastrier, a young Australian heiress. They are both gamblers. Won the 1988 Booker Prize.

True History of the Kelly Gang – is based loosely on the history of Ned Kelly and his gang of outlaws. Won the 2001 Booker Prize.

Alejo Carpentier was born in Cuba.

The Kingdom of This World (1947) - tells the story of Haiti before, during, and after the Haitian Revolution led by Toussaint Louverture.

Explosion in a Cathedral (1962) – deals with the impact of the French Revolution on the Caribbean.

Louis-Ferdinand Celine was the pen name of French novelist Louis Ferdinand Auguste Destouches.

Journey to the End of the Night (1932) – debut novel. Semi-autobiographical novel that follows the life of Ferdinand Bardamu.

Miguel de Cervantes was born in Spain. He fought and was wounded at the naval Battle of Lepanto in 1571. He was later captured by Barbary pirates and spent five years in prison.

Don Quixote – was originally published in two parts, in 1605 and 1615.it is often labeled as the first modern novel. Full title is The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha. Don Quixote is a knight-errant who rides a horse called Rocinante and has a lady love named Dulcinea. Sancho Panza is his squire, and rides a donkey called Dapple. The phrase “tilting at windmills” to describe an act of attacking imaginary enemies derives from a scene in the book where Don Quixote rides with his lance at full tilt upon a row of windmills, which he mistakes for evil giants.

Henri Charriere was born in France.

Papillon (1969) is an autobiographical novel of his incarceration in and escape from a penal colony in French Guiana known as Devil’s Island. Adapted into a 1973 film of the same name.

Anton Chekhov was a playwright and short-story writer born in Russia. He wrote over 500 short stories.

The Steppe, Ward No 6, The Lady and the Dog – short stories.

The Shooting Party (1884) – only full-length novel. Tells the story of an estate forester's daughter in a provincial Russian village, who is stabbed to death in the woods during a hunting party.

For other works by this author see: Plays / Literature - Non-Fiction

Gabriel Chevallier was born in France.

Clochemerle (1934) – is a satirical novel that concerns a dispute over the construction of public urinals near the church in the village of Clochmerle. Dramatised by the BBC in 1972.

Paulo Coelho was born in Brazil.

The Alchemist – was published in 1988. Follows a young Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago in his journey to the pyramids of Egypt, after having a recurring dream of finding a treasure there. Originally published in Portuguese.

J(ohn) M(axwell) Coetzee was born in South Africa. Awarded the 2003 Nobel Prize in Literature. He was the first writer to be awarded the Booker Prize twice. Became an Australian citizen in 2006.

Dusklands (1974) – debut novel.

Waiting for the Barbarians (1980) – tells the story of an unnamed magistrate living in a remote outpost of ‘The Empire’. The ‘barbarians’ are indigenous people whom The Empire believe may be preparing to attack the outpost.

Life & Times of Michael K – follows Michael K as he sets out to take his mother back to her rural home In a South Africa torn by civil war. Won the Booker Prize in 1983.

Disgrace – follows David Lurie, a white South African professor of English, in post-apartheid South Africa. Won the Booker Prize in 1999.

Jesus trilogy (2013-2019) – The Childhood of Jesus, The Schooldays of Jesus, and The Death of Jesus.

Boyhood (1997), Youth (2002) and Summertime (2009) are fictionalised autobiographical novels.

Colette was born in France. Full name Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette.

The Claudine series of novels were written in collaboration with Colette's first husband, the writer Henry Gauthier-Villars, better known by his pen name "Willy”.

Claudine à l'école (Claudine at School, 1900) – first published novel.

Cheri (1920) – concerns the separation of Fred Peloux (known as Cheri) and his lover, the much older Lea de Lonval.

Gigi (1944) – is a novella focusing on Gilberte (known as Gigi), a young Parisian girl being groomed for a career as a courtesan and her relationship with a wealthy cultured man named Gaston. Adapted into a 1958 film musical directed by Vincente Minnelli and starring Leslie Caron as Gigi.

Joseph Conrad was a Polish author born in Berdychiv, Ukraine, then part of the Russian Empire. He served in the British merchant marine for 15 years, and many of his works have a nautical setting.

Almayer's Folly (1895) – debut novel. Concerns Dutch trader Kaspar Almayer who dreams of finding a hidden gold mine and becoming very wealthy.

Heart of Darkness (1899) – follows Charles Marlow as he recounts, at dusk and into the evening, his adventure into the Congo to a group of men aboard a ship anchored in the Thames Estuary. Regarded as a critique of European colonial rule in Africa. A recurring character, Marlow also narrates Lord Jim and Chance (1913).

Lord Jim (1900) – Charles Marlow tells the life story of Jim, a seaman who abandoned his sinking ship and lives his life trying to redeem himself.

Typhoon (1902) – is a story about a British-built steamer that runs into a typhoon in the Pacific Ocean.

Nostromo (1904) – is set in the port city of Sulaco in the fictitious South American country of Costaguana. The story concerns an Italian longshoreman named Nostromo, who becomes entrusted to safeguard a priceless silver mine.

The Secret Agent (1907) – is set in London in 1886, and follows the life of Adolf Verloc, a secret agent.

Julio Cortazar was an Argentine-French novelist, born in Belgium.

Hopscotch (1963) – can be read according to two different sequences of chapters. The last 99 chapters are ‘expendable’, and do not need to be read in order to understand the plot – they fill in gaps that occur in the main storyline, and add information about the characters.

Blow-Up and Other Stories (1967) – is a collection of short stories. The title story served as inspiration for Michelangelo Antonioni's film Blowup.

Douglas Coupland was born in Canada.

Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture (1991) popularized the terms ‘Generation X’ and ‘McJob’.

Anita Desai was born in India. She is the mother of Kiran Desai.

In Custody (1984) – revolves around Devan Sharma, a Hindi Literature Professor at a college in India.

Fasting, Feasting (1999) – is divided into two parts: Part 1 is set in India, Part 2 is set in Massachusetts.

For other works by this author see: Literature - Childrens

Kiran Desai was born in India.

The Inheritance of Loss – explores the lives of characters who are trapped in India's class system. Won the 2006 Booker Prize.

Alfred Doblin was born in Stettin, Germany (now Szczecin, Poland).

Berlin Alexanderplatz (1929) – is considered one of the most important works of the Weimar Republic. Concerns Franz Biberkopf, a criminal recently released from prison who finds himself being drawn into the Berlin underworld of the 1920s after his prostitute lover is murdered.

Fyodor Dostoevsky was born in Moscow in 1821. He was arrested along with other members of the Petrashevsky Circle in 1849 and sentenced to death. Tsar Nicholas I reprieved the prisoners at the last minute and Dostoevsky then served four years of exile with hard labour at a prison camp in Siberia, followed by four years of compulsory military service. He died in St. Petersburg in 1881. Many of his works were first published in the literary journal The Russian Messenger.

Poor Folk (1846) – debut novel. Describes the relationship between Makar and Varvara, remote relatives who write letters to each other.

Notes from the Underground (1864) – is a novella that presents itself as an excerpt from the rambling memoirs of a bitter, isolated, unnamed narrator (generally referred to by critics as the Underground Man), who is a retired civil servant living in St. Petersburg.

Crime and Punishment – was published in 1866. Focuses on the mental anguish and moral dilemmas of Rodion Raskolnikov, an impoverished ex-student in St. Petersburg who formulates a plan to kill an unscrupulous pawnbroker for her money. First line: “On an exceptionally hot evening early in July a young man came out of the garret in which he lodged in S. Place and walked slowly, as though in hesitation, towards K. bridge”.

The Gambler (1867) – is a novella that reflects Dostoevsky's own addiction to roulette.

The Idiot – was published in 1869. The protagonist, Prince Myshkin, returns to Russia after several years at a Swiss sanatorium and finds himself torn between two women – the notorious kept woman Nastasya and the pure Aglaia.

Demons (1872) – is also known as The Possessed or The Devils. Pyotr Verkhovensky and Nikolai Stavrogin are revolutionaries whose aim is to overthrow the Tsar, destroy society, and seize power.

The Brothers Karamazov – was published in 1880. Tells the story of the novice monk Alexei Karamazov, the non-believer Ivan Karamazov, and the soldier Dmitri Karamazov. The main plot is the death of their father Fyodor. The Grand Inquisitor is a poem contained within the text of the novel and is recited by Ivan, who questions his brother Alexei about the possibility of a personal and benevolent God.

Alexandre Dumas fils was born in France. Son of Alexandre Dumas

The Lady of the Camellias (1848) – is also known as Camiile. The title character is the courtesan Marguerite Gautier, who is based on Marie Duplessis, the real-life lover of Dumas. Armand Duval falls in love with Marguerite and ultimately becomes her lover. Adapted into Giuseppe Verdi's 1853 opera La traviata.

Umberto Eco was born in Italy and was a medievalist, philosopher, and semiotician.

The Name of the Rose (1983) – is set in the 14th century. Franciscan friar William of Baskerville, aided by his assistant Adso, a Benedictine novice, investigates a series of murders at a monastery that is to host an important religious debate. Adapted into a 1986 film starring Sean Connery.

Foucault’s Pendulum (1989) – is full of esoteric references to the Kabbalah, alchemy and conspiracy theory. The pendulum of the title refers to an actual pendulum designed by French physicist Leon Foucault to demonstrate Earth's rotation.

Michael Faber was born in the Netherlands.

The Crimson Petal and the White (2002) – In Victorian London, William Rackham is the heir to a perfume business and has a mentally ill wife, Agnes, who is confined to her home. The title is taken from a poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

For other works by this author see: Science Fiction and Fantasy

Elena Ferrante is a pseudonymous Italian author.

Neopolitan Novels is a series of four novels: My Brilliant Friend (2011), The Story of a New Name (2012), Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay (2013), and The Story of the Lost Child (2014). The series follows the lives of two girls, Elena Greco and Lila Cerullo, from childhood to adulthood and old age, as they try to create lives for themselves amidst a poor neighbourhood on the outskirts of Naples.

Richard Flanagan was born in Australia.

Gould’s Book of Fish (2001) – is set on an island off Tasmania. Based on the life of William Buelow Gould, a convict artist, and tells the tale of his love affair with a young black woman.

The Narrow Road to the Deep North – relates the experiences of an Australian doctor as a Far East prisoner of war during the construction of the Burma Railway. Awarded the 2014 Booker Prize.

Gustave Flaubert was born in France.

Madame Bovary – debut novel. Published in 1856. The story focuses on a doctor's wife, Emma Bovary, who has adulterous affairs and lives beyond her means in order to escape the emptiness of provincial life. Emma is seduced by Boulanger, a rich landowner. At an obscenity trial, Flaubert was charged with having committed an "outrage to public morality and religion".

Anatole France was born in Paris. Awarded the 1921 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Thais (1890) – is based on events in the life of Saint Thais of Egypt. It was the inspiration for the 1894 opera of the same name by Jules Massenet.

Penguin Island (1908) – satirizes human nature by depicting the transformation of penguins into humans. It is a satirical history of France, starting in Medieval times, going on to the author's own time with special attention to the Dreyfus affair.

The Gods Are Athirst (1912) – is set in Paris during the French Revolution.

Miles Franklin was born in Australia

My Brilliant Career (1901) – the protagonist, Sybilla Melvyn, is a headstrong, creative young woman who fights convention, wishing to assert her independence and become a writer. Adapted into a 1979 film.

All That Swagger (1936) – follows the fortunes of an Australian pioneering family, the Delacys, over a period of 100 years.

Carlos Fuentes was a Mexican novelist, born in Panama.

The Death of Artemio Cruz (1962) – begins with the titular protagonist on his deathbed; the story of Cruz's life as a corrupt soldier and politician is then filled in by flashbacks.

Terra Nostra (1975) – takes place in and around the unfinished El Escorial in the 16th century. Its main character is King Felipe II.

The Old Gringo (1985) – is loosely based on Ambrose Bierce's disappearance during the Mexican Revolution. The novel tells the story of Harriet Winslow, a young American woman who travels to Mexico, and finds herself in the company of an American journalist and a revolutionary general. Bierce was the author of The Devil’s Dictionary.

Jostein Gaarder was born in Norway.

Sophie’s World (1991) – follows Norwegian teenager Sophie Amundsen, who is introduced to the history of philosophy by Alberto Knox.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez was born in Colombia. Widely credited with introducing the global public to magical realism, he spent much of his time in Mexico City. Some of his works are set in the fictional village of Macondo. Awarded the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature.

One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967) – chronicles several generations of the Buendia family who live in Macondo. Opening line: “Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Col. Aureliano Buendia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice”. The novel has sold more than 50 million copies.

The Autumn of the Patriarch (1975) – tells the story of the infinite power held by an archetypical Caribbean dictator.

Chronicle of a Death Foretold (1981) – is a novella that tells the story of the murder of Santiago Nasar by the Vicario twins.

Love in the Time of Cholera (1985) – is set in the 1870s in an unnamed city in the Caribbean and examines the meaning of love through the intertwined lives of Fermina Daza, Florentino Ariza, and Dr. Juvenal Urbino de la Calle.

For other works by this author see: Historical Fiction

Jean Genet was born in France. He was sent to a Penal Colony aged 15 for multiple acts of vagrancy. He was released aged 18, and joined the Foreign Legion, from which he was given a dishonorable discharge on grounds of indecency.

Our Lady of the Flowers (1942) – debut novel. Semi-autobiographical. The main character is Divine, a drag queen living in Paris.

Miracle of the Rose (1946) – is an autobiographical novel about a detainee in Mettray Penal Colony and Fontevrault prison.

The Thief’s Journal (1949) – is partly autobiographical and is set in Europe in the 1930s. The novel is structured around a series of homosexual love affairs and male prostitution.

For other works by this author see: Plays

William Gerhardie was born in Russia but lived most of his life in England.

Futility (1922) – draws on his experiences of fighting the Bolsheviks in pre-revolutionary Russia.

André Gide was born in France.

The Vatican Cellars (1914) – a gang of con-men pose as Catholic priests and scam wealthy Catholics by telling them that the Pope has been captured by Freemasons and replaced with an impostor.

The Counterfeiters (1925) – is a book about writing a book, also called The Counterfeiters

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was born in 1749 in Frankfurt, then a free imperial city of the Holy Roman Empire. He was a proponent of the Sturm und Drang movement.

The Sorrows of Young Werther – is an epistolary and loosely autobiographical novel, first published in 1774. Werther falls in love with Charlotte despite knowing that she is engaged to a man named Albert. He resolves the situation by shooting himself in the head.

Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship (1796) – centres on Wilhelm, a young man who strives to break free from the restrictive world of economics and seeks fulfillment as an actor and playwright.

Elective Affinities (1809) – follows Eduard and Charlotte, an aristocratic couple enjoying an idyllic but somewhat mundane life on a secluded estate. The title is based on the term ‘chemical affinities’, that was used to describe compounds that only interacted with each other under select circumstances. Goethe used this as a metaphor for marriage.

For other works by this author see: Poetry / Plays

Nikolai Gogol was born in 1809 in the Ukrainian town of Sorochyntsi in the Poltava Governorate of the Russian Empire.

Diary of a Madman (1835) – is a short story based on the descent into insanity of Poprishchin, a minor civil servant during the era of Nicholas I.

The Nose (1836) – tells the story Collegiate Assessor ('Major') Kovalyov, a St. Petersburg official whose nose leaves his face and develops a life of its own.

The Overcoat (1842) – is a short story about Akaky, an impoverished government clerk in St. Petersburg, who has to buy a new overcoat.

Dead Souls – is a novel that chronicles the travels and adventures of Pavel Ivanovich Chichikov. The first part of a projected trilogy, it was published in 1842 under the title The Adventures of Chichikov.

For other works by this author see: Historical Fiction / Plays

Nadime Gordimer was born in South Africa and was active in the anti-apartheid movement. Several of her works were banned by the South African government. Won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1991.

The Conservationist – explores Zulu culture and the world of a wealthy white industrialist through the eyes of Mehring, the antihero. Joint winner of the 1974 Booker Prize.

July’s People (1981) – is set in a near future version of South Africa where apartheid is ended through a civil war. It follows Maureen and Bamford Smales, an educated white couple, hiding for their lives with July, their long-time former servant.

Maxim Gorky was born Alexei Maximovich Peshkov in 1868, in Nizhny Novgorod. He started using the pseudonym "Gorky" while working as a journalist. He publicly opposed the Tsarist regime, and for a significant part of his life, he was exiled from Russia and later the Soviet Union.

The Artamonov Business (1925) – concerns the three generations of the Artamonov family, from the beginning of 1860s to the Revolution of 1917.

The Life of Klim Samgin (1925-1936) – covers events in Russia from 1870 to 1917 as seen by Klim Samgin, an intellectual.

For other works by this author see: Plays

Gunter Grass was a German novelist born in the Free City of Danzig (now Gdansk, Poland). Awarded the 1999 Nobel Prize in Literature.

The Danzig trilogy consists of the novels The Tin Drum (1959), Cat and Mouse (1961) and Dog Years (1963) and focuses on the Free City of Danzig from 1918 to 1945.

The Tin Drum – debut novel. Key text in magic realism. the story revolves around the life of Oskar Matzerath, as narrated by himself when confined in a mental hospital. To "beat a tin drum" means to create a disturbance in order to bring attention to a cause.

Cat and Mouse – is a novella about Joachim Mahlke, an alienated only child without a father. The title relates to a metaphor, in which Mahlke is the mouse and society is the cat.

Dog Years – follows the lives of two friends in Germany from the 1920s to the 1950s.

David Grossman was born in Israel.

A Horse Walks into a Bar – is set in a stand-up comedy show in Israel. A retired judge, Avishai Lazar, is invited out of the blue by local comedian Dovaleh Greenstein to attend his show. Won the 2017 Man Booker International Prize.

Abdulrazak Gurnah was born in the Sultanate of Zanzibar (now part of Tanzania) and moved to the United Kingdom in the 1960s as a refugee during the Zanzibar Revolution. Awarded the 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature.

By the Sea (2001) – is narrated by Saleh Omah, who arrives in Britain from Zanzibar as an asylum seeker.

Arthur Hailey was a British-Canadian novelist born in Luton, who emigrated to Canada in 1947.

Hotel (1965) – is the story of an independent New Orleans hotel, the St. Gregory.

Airport (1968) – in which Mel Bakersfield struggles to keep Lincoln International Airport in Chicago open during a snowstorm. Adapted into a 1970 film.

Wheels (1971) – concerns the day-to-day pressures involved in operating a car manufacturing company. Based on the Ford Motor Company.

The Moneychangers (1975) – revolves around the politics inside one of America's largest banks, First Mercantile American.

Overload (1979) – is set in Golden State Power and Light, that provides two-thirds of California's electric power.

Peter Handke was born in Austria. The award of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Literature to Handke was controversial, because of his support for wartime Serbia in 1999.

The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick (1970) – is a short novel.

A Sorrow Beyond Dreams (1972) – is a semi-autobiographical novella based on the life of Handke's mother.

Jaroslav Hasek was born in Prague.

The Good Soldier Svejk (1921-1923) – is an unfinished satirical novel about Josef Svejk, a simple-minded, middle-aged man who pretends to be enthusiastic to serve Austria-Hungary in World War I.

Hermann Hesse was a German-Swiss author, born in Wurttemberg. Awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1946.

Siddhartha (1922) – deals with the spiritual journey of self-discovery of a man named Siddhartha during the time of the Gautam Buddha.

Steppenwolf (1927) – follows Harry Haller, who describes his mental state through a battle between his human and wolf side. He stumbles upon a “magic theatre,” in which he has a series of surreal experiences.

Narcissus and Goldmund (1930) – tells the story of two men in Medieval Germany whose characters are diametrically opposite: Narcissus, an ascetic monk, and Goldmund, a romantic youth.

The Glass Bead Game (also published under the title Magister Ludi) – was published in 1943. Tells the story of Joseph Knecht, a member of the intellectual elite who has been obsessed with mastering the Glass Bead Game since he was a child. Magister Ludi means ‘Master of the Game’.

E(rnst) T(heodor) A(madeus) Hoffmann was a German Romantic author of fantasy and horror. His stories form the basis of Jacques Offenbach's opera The Tales of Hoffmann.

The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (1816) – is a story in which Marie Stahlbaum's favourite Christmas toy, the Nutcracker doll, comes alive and defeats the evil Mouse King in battle. Adapted into the Tchaikovsky ballet The Nutcracker.

The Sandman (1817) – is a short story. Loosely adapted as the ballet Coppélia.

Khaled Hosseini is an Afghan-American novelist born in Kabul. He is a Goodwill Envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

The Kite Runner (2003) – debut novel which tells the story of Amir, a young boy who lives through a series of tumultuous events in Afghanistan. Kite running is the practice of running after drifting kites in the sky that have been cut loose in kite fighting.

A Thousand Splendid Suns (2007) – tells the story of Mariam and Laila, two Afghan women married to the same man, Rasheed.

Michel Houellebecq was born on the French island of Reunion.

Atomised (also known as The Elementary Particles, 1998) – focuses almost exclusively on the bleak lives of Michel and Bruno, two half-brothers who barely know each other.

The Map and the Territory – tells the story of Jed Martin, a fictional French artist, and involves the fictional murder of Houellebecq himself. Awarded the Prix Goncourt in 2010.

Victor Hugo was born in France.

The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (originally titled Notre-Dame de Paris) is a Gothic novel, published in 1831. Esmerelda, the protagonist of the novel, is a young street dancer. Quasimodo, the hunchback of the title, is a bell-ringer of Notre-Dame, and is named after Quasimodo Sunday, the first Sunday after Easter, when he was found abandoned. Claude Frollo, the Archdeacon of Notre-Dame, is the main antagonist. Set during the reign of Louis XI.

Toilers of the Sea (1866) – is dedicated to the island of Guernsey, where Hugo spent 15 years in exile. Includes a battle with an octopus.

For other works by this author see: Historical Fiction / Plays

Tove Jansson was a Swedish-speaking Finnish author best known for her children’s comic strips and books about the Moomins.

The Summer Book (1972) – follows an elderly woman and her six-year-old granddaughter Sophia who spend a summer together.

Elfriede Jelinek is an Austrian novelist. Awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2004.

The Piano Teacher (1983) – follows Erika Kohut, a piano teacher in Vienna who lives with her controlling mother. Erika enters a sadomasochistic relationship with her student, Walter Klemmer. Adapted into a 2001 Michael Haneke film.

Ismail Kadare was born in Albania. He received political asylum and settled in France in 1990 to escape the Communist regime in Albania. Won the inaugural International Booker Prize in 2005.

Broken April (1980) – concerns the traditions of hospitality, blood feuds, and revenge killing in the highlands of north Albania in the 1930s.

The Palace of Dreams (1981) – is an anti-totalitarian novel in which an authoritarian dystopia (the imaginary U.O.S.; the United Ottoman States) through an enormous bureaucratic entity (the Palace of Dreams) collects every dream in the empire, sorts it, files it, analyses it, and reports the most dangerous ones to the Sultan.

Agamemnon's Daughter/The Successor (2003) – diptych consisting of a novella and a novel. The first centres on Suzanna, the daughter of the designated successor to the country’s dictator and the second around the mystery of the designated successor’s death.

For other works by this author see: Historical Fiction

Franz Kafka was born in 1883 in Prague, then part of the Kingdom of Bohemia. He left his work, both published and unpublished, to his friend Max Brod with explicit instructions that it should be destroyed on Kafka's death. Brod ignored this request and published the novels and collected works between 1925 and 1935.

The Metamorphosis (1915) – is a novella that tells the story of a traveling salesman, Gregor Samsa, who wakes to find himself transformed into a gigantic insect.

The Trial (1925) – is a novel about a character named Josef K., who awakens one morning and, for reasons never revealed, is arrested and subjected to the judicial process for an unspecified crime.

The Castle (1926) – is a philosophical novel. The protagonist, known only as K., strives to gain access to the mysterious authorities of a castle that governs the village where K. has arrived to work as a land surveyor.

Amerika – is an incomplete debut novel that was published posthumously in 1927. The story describes the bizarre wanderings of a 16-year-old European emigrant named Karl Rossmann in the United States, who was forced to go to New York to escape the scandal of his seduction by a housemaid. The novel originally began as a short story titled The Stoker.

Yasar Kemal was a Turkish writer and human rights activist of Kurdish origin.

Memed, My Hawk (1955) – debut novel. Memed, a young boy from a village in Anatolia, is abused and beaten by the villainous local landowner, Abdi Aga. Having endured great cruelty towards himself and his mother, Memed escape with a girl named Hatce.

Jamaica Kincaid was born in Antigua

Annie John (1985) – debut novel. Follows the growth of Annie John, a young girl in Antigua.

Lucy (1990) – follows a woman who moves from the West Indies to the US to work as an au pair for a white family.

W(illiam) P(atrick) Kinsella was born in Canada.

Shoeless Joe (1982) is the novel on which the 1989 film Field of Dreams was based.

Karl Ove Knausgard was born in Norway

My Struggle (2009-2011) – is a series of six autobiographical novels covering Knausgard’s private life and thoughts. The novel's Norwegian title is Min Kamp.

Arthur Koestler was a Jewish author and journalist. He was born in Budapest and moved to Britain during World War II. Koestler and his wife, Cynthia, committed suicide together at their home in London.

Darkness at Noon – was published in 1940 and is set during Joseph Stalin’s purge trials of the 1930s. The main character Rubashov is an older revolutionary, a member of the old army as he calls himself, who is imprisoned and accused of crimes that he did not commit. Throughout his time in prison Rubashov looks back on his life and what he has done for the party. It is the middle novel of a trilogy together with The Gladiators (1939) and Arrival and Departure (1943) about the subversion of popular revolutionary movements.

For other works by this author see: Literature - Non-Fiction

Milan Kundera is a Czech writer who went into exile in France in 1975. Prior to the Velvet Revolution of 1989, the communist regime in Czechoslovakia banned his books.

The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1984) – is set in Prague in 1968. The novel details the circumstances of life for artists and intellectuals in Czechoslovakia in the wake of the Prague Spring and the subsequent invasion by the USSR. Adapted as a film starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Juliette Binoche and Lena Olin in 1988.

Selma Lagerlof was born in Sweden. First woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, in 1909.

Gosta Berling’s Saga – debut novel. Published in 1891. The chief character, Gosta Berling, is a defrocked Lutheran priest.

Mikhail Lermontov was born in Moscow.

A Hero of Our Time – was published in 1840. The protagonist, Pechorin, is a young army officer hosted to the Caucasus, and is a Byronic antihero.

For other works by this author see: Poetry

Gaston Leroux was born in France.

The Phantom of the Opera – was first published as a serial in the daily newspaper Le Gaulois from 1909 to 1910. The setting is the Palais Garnier Opera House in Paris. The Phantom of the Opera, or simply the Opera Ghost, is a deformed man named Erik.

Nicolai Leskov was born in Russia.

Lady Macbeth of the Mtsenck District (1865) – is a novella. Katerina Ismailov is married to Boris, a rich merchant. Bored with her marriage, Katerina takes a young lover, Sergei. Adapted into a 1934 opera by Shostakovich.

Kathy Lette was born in Australia.

Puberty Blues (1979) – debut novel. Co-written by Gabrielle Carey. Tells the story of Deb and Sue, two thirteen-year-old girls who become members of a surfing gang in Sydney.

How to Kill Your Husband (and Other Handy Household Hints) (2006) – Jazz Jardine is arrested for her husband's murder.

Primo Levi was a Jewish author born in Italy. He is best known for his work on the Holocaust.

The Periodic Table (1975) – is a collection of short stories that are autobiographical episodes of Levi's experiences as a Jewish-Italian chemist under the Fascist regime and afterwards. Every story has the name of a chemical element.

Joan Lindsay was born in Australia.

Picnic at Hanging Rock (1967) – students at a girls' boarding school disappear at Hanging Rock (Ngannelong) while on a Valentine's Day picnic. Adapted as a film in 1975.

Clarice Lispector was a Ukrainian-born Brazilian novelist.

Near to the Wild Heart (1943) – debut novel. Concerns the early life of a character named Joana.

The Passion According to G.H. (1964) – takes the form of a monologue by a woman, identified only as G.H., telling of the crisis that ensued the previous day after she crushed a cockroach in the door of a wardrobe.

Colleen McCullough was born in Australia.

The Thorn Birds (1977) – tells the story of the Cleary family on Drogheda, a fictional sheep station in the Australian Outback. The novel is the best-selling book in Australian history.

For other works by this author see: Historical Fiction

Machado de Assis was born in Brazil (full name Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis). He was the grandson of slaves and was largely self-taught.

Dom Casmurro (1899) – is a fictional memoir by a jealous husband.

The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas (1881) – is narrated by the dead protagonist Bras Cubas, who tells his own life story from beyond the grave.

Klaus Mann was born in Germany. He was the son of Thomas Mann. In 1934 he was stripped of German citizenship by the Nazi regime and became a Czechoslovak citizen. In 1936, he moved to the United States.

Mephisto – was published in 1936 whilst Mann was in exile in Amsterdam. Portrays actor Hendrik Hofgen's rise to nationwide fame. Based on the German actor Gustaf Grundgens.

Thomas Mann was born in Lubeck. When Hitler came to power in 1933, he fled to Switzerland. When World War II broke out, he emigrated to the United States, returning to Switzerland in 1952. Awarded the 1929 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Buddenbrooks – debut novel. Published in 1901. Chronicles the downfall of a wealthy family of grain merchants from Lubeck over four generations.

Death in Venice – is a novella published in 1912. Follows Gustav von Aschenbach, a famous author in his early 50s, who visits Venice and becomes increasingly obsessed by the sight of a stunningly beautiful youth named Tadzio. Influenced by the death of Gustav Mahler in Venice in 1911.

The Magic Mountain – is a Bildungsroman published in 1924. The protagonist, Hans Castorp, visits his cousin in a tuberculosis sanatorium in Davos, but falls ill and must stay as a patient. He meets a wide range of other patients and becomes interested in a variety of philosophical and scientific ideas.

Lotte in Weimar: The Beloved Returns (1939) – is the story of one of Goethe's old romantic interests, Charlotte Kestner, who has come to Weimar to see him again after more than 40 years of separation. The character of Lotte, in Goethe's novel The Sorrows of Young Werther, is partly based on her.

Dr Faustus (1949) – is based on the legend of Faust. Adrian Leverkuhn, a German composer, bargains his soul in exchange for twenty-four years of genius.

Katherine Mansfield was born in New Zealand. Moved to England aged 19. Died in France of tuberculosis aged 34 in 1923.

Prelude (1918) – is a short story. It was first published by the Hogarth Press, after Virginia Woolf encouraged her to finish the story.

The Garden Party (1922) – is a collection of short stories.

Yann Martel was born in Canada.

Life of Pi – tells the story of Piscine Molitor "Pi" Patel, an Indian boy who survives 227 days after a shipwreck while stranded on a lifeboat in the Pacific Ocean with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. The tiger’s name was inspired by a character in Edgar Allan Poe's novel The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket. Awarded the Booker Prize in 2002. Adapted into a 2012 Ang Lee film

Beatrice and Virgil (2010) – tells the story of Henry, a novelist, who receives the manuscript of a play in a letter from a taxidermist, who introduces him to the play's protagonists, two taxidermy animals – Beatrice, a donkey, and Virgil, a monkey.

Guy de Maupassant was born in France. Many of his stories are set during the Franco-Prussian War of the 1870s and describe the futility of war.

Boule de Suif (Ball of fat, 1880) – is a short story. A group of travellers in a stagecoach flee from Rouen, which has been occupied by the Prussian army. They include Boule de Suif, who is a prostitute.

The Necklace (1885) – is a short story. Madame Loisel borrows a necklace so that she can attend a ball.

Anne Michaels is a poet and novelist born in Canada.

Fugitive Pieces – is divided into two sections. The first is a memoir, in which the narrator, Jakob Beer, tells the story of his upbringing and the loss of his family in the Holocaust. The second concerns Canadian professor Ben, whose parents survived the Holocaust and moved to Toronto. Second winner of the Orange Prize, in 1997.

Yukio Mishima was born in Tokyo. Pen name of Kimitake Hiraoka. He was the founder of the Tatenokai, an unarmed civilian militia. Following a failed coup in 1970, he committed seppuku, a form of ritual suicide.

Confessions of a Mask (1949) – tells the story of Kochan, who struggles from a very early age to fit into society.

The Temple of the Golden Pavilion (1956) – is based on the burning of the Reliquary (or Golden Pavilion) of Kinkaku-ji in Kyoto by a young Buddhist acolyte in 1950.

Herta Muller is a German novelist born in Romania. Many of her works are told from the viewpoint of the German minority in Romania under the regime of Nicolae Ceausescu. Awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2009.

The Land of Green Plums (1994) – is narrated by an unidentified young woman belonging to the ethnic German minority living in a totalitarian police state in Communist Romania.

Alice Munro is a short story writer born in Canada. Many of her stories are set in Huron County, Ontario. Awarded the Man Booker International Prize in 2009 and the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2013.

Dance of the Happy Shades (1968) – first collection of stories.

The View from Castle Rock (2006) – is a collection of historical and autobiographical short stories.

Haruki Murakami was born in Japan.

Hear the Wind Sing (1979) – debut novel. Narrated by “I”, who is a friend of Rat.

Norwegian Wood (1987) – is set in Tokyo in the late 1960s. Watanabe, his classmate Kizuki, and Kizuki's girlfriend Naoko are the best of friends. Naoko’s favourite song is Norwegian Wood by the Beatles.

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (1994/5) – is made up of three parts: The Thieving Magpie, Bird as Prophet and The Birdcatcher. Narrated by Toru Okada.

Kafka on the Shore (2002) – comprises two interrelated plots. The odd-numbered chapters tell the story of Kafka, who runs away from his father’s house. The even-numbered chapters tell the story of Nakata, who has an ability to find lost cats.

1Q84 (2009/10) – is set in Tokyo during a fictionalized year of 1984. Tells how a woman named Aomame notices strange changes occurring in the world.

Vladimir Nabokov was born in St Petersburg to a family of the Russian nobility. Wrote his first nine novels in Russian while living in Berlin. Started writing in English after moving to the US in 1940. Moved to Switzerland in 1961.

Lolita – was published in 1955. The novel is prefaced by a fictitious foreword by John Ray Jr., an editor of psychology books. Literature professor Humbert Humbert is obsessed with Dolores Haze, his landlady’s 12-year-old daughter. Opening line: “Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul”. One of the novel's characters, Vivian Darkbloom, is an anagram of the author's name.

Pale Fire – was published in 1962 as a 999-line poem by the fictional poet John Shade with notations by fictional editor John Kinbote. The title is from Shakespeare's Timon of Athens.

The Gift (1939) – final Russian novel. Published under his nom de plume, Vladimir Sirin.

The Original of Laura – unfinished novel. Published by his son in 2009, despite the author’s request that the work be destroyed upon his death.

Irene Nemirovsky was a Jewish novelist born in Kiev, under the Russian Empire. Moved to France in 1918. Died in Auschwitz in 1942, aged 39.

Suite Francaise – was a planned sequence of five novels. Only two were completed by the time of her death. The two novellas portraying life in France between June 1940 and July 1941, the period during which the Nazis occupied Paris, are Storm in June and Dolce. Nemirovsky left a plot outline for the third novel, Captivity.

Anias Nin was born to Cuban parents in France and spent the second half of her life in the US.

Delta of Venus – is a collection of short stories written in the 1940s as erotica for a private client known as the “Collector”. Published posthumously in 1977.

Little Birds – is Nin’s second collection of erotic short stories. Published posthumously in 1979.

Ben Okri was born in Nigeria.

The Famished Road – is narrated by Azaro, who is an abiku, or a spirit child who has never lost ties with the spirit world. The story follows him as he tries to live his life, always aware of the spirits trying to bring him back. Won the 1991 Booker Prize. First book in a trilogy that continues with Songs of Enchantment (1993) and Infinite Riches (1998).

Orhan Pamuk was born in Turkey. In 2005 he was prosecuted over a statement regarding the Armenian genocide. Awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2006.

The White Castle (1985) – is about a young Italian scholar sailing from Venice to Naples who is taken prisoner by the Ottoman Empire.

The Black Book (1990) – is set in Istanbul. The wife of a lawyer named Galip mysteriously leaves him. Galip thinks she is living with her half-brother Celel, who is also missing.

The New Life (1994) – follows a student, Osman, who discovers a "new life" in the pages of a book of the same name.

Snow (2002) – is set in the city of Kars. Ka is a poet, who returns to Turkey after 12 years of political exile to investigate a spate of suicides but also in the hope of meeting a woman he used to know.

The Museum of Innocence (2008) – is an account of the love story between the wealthy businessman Kemal and a shop girl, Fusun.

For other works by this author see: Historical Fiction

Boris Pasternak was born in Russia. Awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1958, an event that enraged the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, which forced him to decline the prize.

Doctor Zhivago – was published in 1957. Set between the Russian Revolution of 1905 and the Second World War. Lara Antipova is the love interest of Yuri Zhivago, a married physician. Rejected for publication in the Soviet Union, but the manuscript was smuggled to Italy for publication. Adapted into a 1965 David Lean film.

Alan Paton was born in South Africa and was an anti-apartheid activist.

Cry, The Beloved Country – was published in 1948. Black minister Stephen Kumalo journeys from a remote village to Johannesburg to help his sister, who has been reported to be ill, and to search for his son, who left home and has not kept in contact.

Daniel Pennac is a French writer, born in Morocco.

La Saga Malaussene is a series of novels featuring Benjamin Malaussene, professional scapegoat, and many characters from his entourage, in the Belleville district of Paris - The Scapegoat (1985), The Fairy Gunmother (1987), Write to Kill (1989), Monsieur Malaussene (1995) and Passion Fruit (1999).

Georges Perec was born in France.

La Disparition (1969) – is a lipogramatic novel written without the letter “e”. Translated into English as A Void.

Les Revenentes (1972) – is a novella in which the letter "e" is the only vowel used.

Life: A User’s Manual (1978) – is Perec’s best-known work. Based on the lives of the inhabitants of a fictitious Parisian apartment block.

Caryl Phillips was born in St. Kitts.

The Final Passage (1985) – documents the challenges faced by a family who emigrate from the British West Indies to England in 1958.

DBC Pierre was born Peter Finlay in Australia. He was brought up in Mexico. The letters in his pen name stand for "Dirty but clean".

Vernon God Little – debut novel. Tells the story of Vernon Little, a teenager from Texas, who is arrested as an accomplice after his best friend, Jesus Navarro, murders their classmates in the schoolyard before killing himself. Won the Booker Prize in 2003.

Luigi Pirandello was a playwright and novelist born in Italy. Awarded the 1934 Nobel Prize in Literature.

The Late Mattia Pascal (1904) – follows Mattia Pascal, who wins a fortune in Monte Carlo, then moves to Rome with an assumed identity.

L’Exclusa (The Excluded Woman, 1908) – debut novel. Set in a small village in Sicily. The protagonist Marta Ajala feels ‘excluded’ from society as she has lost her position and status.

For other works by this author see: Plays

Abbe Prevost was born in France in 1697.

Manon Lescaut (1731) – is set in France and Louisiana in the early 18th century and follows the hero, the Chevalier des Grieux, and his lover, Manon Lescaut. The story has influenced a number of ballets and operas, such as Manon (1884) by Jules Massenet and Manon Lescaut (1893) by Giacomo Puccini.

Marcel Proust was born in France.

A la Recherche du Temps Perdu (Remembrance of Things Past or In Search of Lost Time) – was published between 1913 and 1927. Follows the narrator's recollections of childhood and experiences into adulthood in the late 19th century and early 20th century France, while reflecting on the loss of time and lack of meaning in the world. Title taken from Shakespeare’s Sonnet 30. Translated into English by C. K. Scott Moncrieff. 4,215 pages. Published in seven volumes –

Swann’s Way

In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower

The Guermantes Way

Sodom and Gomorrah

The Prisoner

The Fugitive

Time Regained

Manuel Puig was born in Argentina.

Betrayed by Rita Hayworth (1968) – debut novel. Coming of age story of a young teenage boy in the mid-twentieth century in small-town Argentina.

Heartbreak Tango (1969) – looks back at the life of Juan Carlos Etchepare.

Kiss of the Spider Woman (1976) – is a novel about Molina and Valentí, two very different men who share a cell in a South American jail. Adapted as a film in 1985.

Alexander Pushkin was born in Moscow. Exiled by Alexander I who considered his poems to be scandalous. He was killed at the age of 37 in a duel with Georges d’Anthes, who was suspected of having an affair with Pushkin’s wife Natalia.

The Queen of Spades (1834) – is a short story about avarice. The story centres on an elderly countess who is a skilled gambler. Adapted into an 1890 opera by Tchaikovsky.

For other works by this author see: Historical Fiction / Plays / Poetry

Matthew Reilly was born in Australia.

Ice Station (1998) – Lieutenant Shane Schofield, call sign 'Scarecrow', and his crew of the U.S. Marines answer a distress call from an academic observatory, the Wilkes Ice Station on the Antarctic Ice Shelf. The first in a series of novels featuring Schofield.

Erich Remarque was born in Germany. He served on the Western Front and was injured by shell shrapnel in 1917.

All Quiet on the Western Front (1928) – describes the German soldiers' extreme physical and mental stress during World War I. Adapted as an Academy Award winning film in 1930 and ,as such, was the first Best Picture based on a novel.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a Swiss philosopher, born in Geneva in 1712.

Julie; or, The New Heloise (1761) – is an epistolary novel that follows the fates and passions of Julie d'Etange and St. Preux, a one-time lover who re-enters Julie's life.

Arundathi Roy was born in India.

The God of Small Things – debut novel. The novel is about Rahel and Estha, two fraternal twins who reunite as young adults, after family tensions have kept them apart for many years. Won the Booker Prize in 1997.

Marquis de Sade – was born in France in 1740. Full name Donatien Alphonse Francois, Marquis de Sade. He was a nobleman, politician, and philosopher. Many of his works were written in prison. The word ‘sadism’ is derived in reference to his works.

The 120 Days of Sodom (1785) – is set in a remote medieval castle. Four wealthy libertines lock themselves into the castle for four months, along with a number of victims and accomplices, to experience the ultimate sexual gratification in orgies.

Justine, or Good Conduct Well-Chastised (1788) – is a novella written while de Sade was imprisoned in the Bastille. Published anonymously. Set just before the French Revolution, it tells the story of a young girl who sets off to make her way in France.

Juliette, or Vice Amply Rewarded (1797) – concerns the sister of Justine. While Justine was a virtuous woman, Juliette is an amoral nymphomaniac murderer. In 1801 Napoleon ordered the arrest of the author of Justine and Juliette, and as a result de Sade was incarcerated without trial for the last thirteen years of his life.

Francoise Sagan was born in France.

Bonjour Tristesse (Hello Sadness, 1955) – is a novel written when Sagan was only 18. The story is told by Cecile, a 17-year-old girl holidaying on the Cote d'Azur with her widowed father and his young mistress. Title is taken from a poem from Paul Eluard.

George Sand was born in France. Pseudonym of Amantine-Lucile-Aurore Dupin. She had an affair with Frederic Chopin.

Indiana (1832) – was the first work published under the pseudonym George Sand. Partly set in Reunion.

La Mare au Diable (The Devil’s Pool, 1846) – is the first in a series of pastoral novels.

La Petite Fadette (Little Fadette, 1849) – tells the story of Fadette, who, along with her brother, is being raised by her mean grandmother. The children are known as “witches”.

Jose Saramago was born in Portugal. Awarded the 1998 Nobel Prize in Literature.

The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis (1984) – chronicles the final year in the life of the title character, Ricardo Reis, a Portuguese doctor who had been living in Brazil.

Blindness (1995) – an epidemic of blindless sweeps through an unnamed city, leading to panic and social breakdown.

All the Names (1997) – is the story of Senhor Jose, a humble clerk who collects clippings on famous people as a hobby.

Jean-Paul Sartre was an existentialist philosopher born in France. He had an open relationship with Simone de Beauvoir.

Nausea (1938) – debut novel. Tells the story of Antoine Roquentin, a depressed and reclusive historian whose interactions with the world cause him nausea.

The Roads to Freedom – was intended as a tetralogy, but was left incomplete, with only three of the volumes published. The three published novels revolve around Mathieu, a Socialist teacher of philosophy, and a group of his friends. The novels are The Age of Reason (1945), The Reprieve (1945) and The Last Chance (1949). The books were adapted into a BBC television series in 1970.

Bernhard Schlink was born in Germany.

The Reader (1995) – concerns a teenager who has an affair with a woman in her thirties who suddenly vanishes, but whom he meets again as a law student when visiting a trial about war crimes. Adapted into a 2008 film starring Kate Winslet.

Vikram Seth was born in India.

A Suitable Boy (1993) – is set in India in 1951. Follows four linked families, where the story revolves around Mrs. Rupa Mehra who is in search of a suitable husband for her youngest daughter Lata.

Elif Shafek is a Turkish-British novelist, born in France.

The Bastard of Istanbul (2006) – deals with the Armenian Genocide. Shafek was sued by a lawyer for allegedly "insulting Turkishness".

The Forty Rules of Love (2009) – explains how Shams, the spiritual teacher of the Persian poet Rumi, transformed a scholar into a Sufi mystic.

Carol Shields was an American-born Canadian writer

The Stone Diaries (1993) – is the fictional autobiography of Daisy Goodwill, who is bewildered by her inability to understand her place in her own life. Won the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Mikhail Sholokhov was born in Russia. Won the 1965 Nobel Prize in Literature.

And Quiet Flows the Don (1928-1940) – is a novel in four volumes. It depicts the lives and struggles of the Cossacks living in the Don River valley during the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and Russian Civil War. The plot revolves around the Melekhov family of Tatarsk.

Leila Slimani is a French-Moroccan writer, born in Rabat.

Lullaby (French: Chanson douce) – deals with the murder of two children by their nanny. Published as The Perfect Nanny in the US. Won the 2016 Prix Goncourt.

Wilbur Smith – was born in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia). Many of his works concern international involvement in Southern Africa across four centuries.

When the Lions Feed (1964) – debut novel. Set at the time of the Anglo-Zulu War.

The Courtney Novels – 17 novels which chronicle the lives of the Courtney family, from the 1660s through until 1987.

The Ballantyne Novels – chronicle the lives of the Ballantyne family, from the 1860s to the 1980s against a background of the history of Rhodesia.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was born in Russia in 1918. He was an outspoken critic of communism and helped to raise global awareness of political repression in the Soviet Union. While serving as a captain in the Red Army during World War II, he was arrested by the SMERSH and sentenced to eight years in the Gulag and then internal exile for criticizing Joseph Stalin in a private letter. Awarded the 1970 Nobel Prize in Literature.

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich – was published in 1962. Set in a Soviet labour camp in the early 1950s, the novel describes a single day in the life of prisoner Ivan Denisovich Shukhov. Published with approval from Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev.

The First Circle (1968) – is a largely autobiographical novel set in a sharashka (a secret research and development laboratory operating within the Gulag labour camp system). The title is an allusion to Dante's first circle, or limbo of Hell in The Divine Comedy.

Cancer Ward (1968) – is a semi-autobiographical novel. Tells the story of a group of patients in Ward 13, the cancer ward of a hospital in Tashkent in 1954. The main character, Oleg Kostoglotov, spent time in a labour camp as a "counter-revolutionary" before he was exiled to Central Asia.

The Red Wheel (1984-1991) is a series of novels exploring the passing of Imperial Russia and the birth of the Soviet Union. Consists of four novels –

August 1914 – concerns the defeat of the Imperial Russian Army at the Battle of Tannenberg in 1914.

November 1916 – the sequel to August 1914. The novel picks up on the brink of the Russian Revolution.

The third and fourth “Nodes” of The Red Wheel, March 1917 and April 1917, chronicle the massive chaos unleashed by the “February revolution” of 1917.

For other works by this author see: Literature - Non-Fiction

August Strindberg was a playwright and novelist born in Sweden.

The Red Room – was published in 1879. The novel is a satire on life in Stockholm. Arvid Falk leaves the civil service to become a journalist and author but comes up against hypocrisy and political corruption.

Inferno (1912) – is an autobiographical novel concerned with Strindberg’s life in Paris.

For other works by this author see: Plays

Patrick Suskind was born in Germany.

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (1985) – opening in 1738, orphan Jean-Baptiste Grenouille has a remarkable sense of smell which leads him to become both a murderer and a perfumier. The action moves from Paris to Grasse, a centre of the perfume industry.

Olga Tokarczuk was born in Poland. Won the 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Flights – is split into 116 vignettes, all narrated by the same female traveller. Won the 2018 Man Booker International Prize.

For other works by this author see: Historical Fiction

Leo Tolstoy was born to an aristocratic Russian family in 1828. He served as a young artillery officer during the Crimean War. In his later life he became a pacifist. He received nominations for the Nobel Prize in Literature every year from 1902 to 1906 but never won.

Anna Karenina – was published in 1878. The story centres on an extramarital affair between Anna and cavalry officer Count Vronsky that scandalizes the social circles of St. Petersburg. Anna commits suicide by throwing herself in the path of a train. Opening line: “Happy families are all alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way”.

The Death of Ivan Ilych (1886) – is a novella that tells the story of a high-court judge in 19th century Russia and his sufferings and death from a terminal illness.

Resurrection (1899) – last novel. Concerns a nobleman named Dmitri Ivanovich Nekhlyudov, who seeks redemption for a sin committed years earlier. Explores the economic philosophy of Georgism, of which Tolstoy had become an advocate towards the end of his life.

For other works by this author see: Historical Fiction / Literature - Non-Fiction

Ivan Turgenev was born in Russia.

A Sportsman's Sketches (1852) – is a collection of short stories, based on his observations of peasant life and nature.

Home of the Gentry (1859) – is concerned with Lavretsky, who has returned to the countryside following his wife's unfaithfulness. He falls in love with Liza, who joins a remote convent.

Fathers and Sons (1862) – explores the ageless conflict between generations through a period in Russian history when a new generation of revolutionary intellectuals threatened the state.

Mario Vargas Llosa was born in Peru. Won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2010. He ran for the Peruvian presidency in 1990.

The Time of the Hero – debut novel. Published in 1963. Concerns the theft of an examination paper by a cadet at the Leoncio Prado Military Academy in Lima.

The Green House (1966) – is set in the desert town of Piura, and in the Amazon rainforest. The Green House is a brothel in Piura.

Conversation in the Cathedral (1969) – is a portrayal of Peru under dictatorship in the 1950s.

Jules Verne was born in France.

Voyages Extraordinaires is a collection of 54 novels. The first novel in the series is Five Weeks in a Balloon (1863).

Around the World in Eighty Days – was published in 1872. Phileas Fogg and his valet Passepartout attempt to circumnavigate the world in 80 days on a wager of £20,000 set by his friends at the Reform Club in London.

For other works by this author see: Science Fiction and Fantasy

Voltaire was the pen name of Francois-Marie Arouet, born in Paris in 1694. He was a philosopher famous for his criticism of the Roman Catholic Church, as well as his advocacy of freedom of speech. Candide – was published in 1759. Full title Candide: or, The Optimist. The novel begins with a young man, Candide, who is living a sheltered life in an Edenic paradise and being indoctrinated with Leibnizian optimism (“All is for the best in the best of all possible worlds”) by his mentor, Pangloss. Candide and his lover Cunegonde travel around the world. Voltaire suggests that humankind should occupy themselves in daily activities rather than ruminate on such things that man cannot truly understand; hence the ending sentence, "We must cultivate our garden".

For other works by this author see: Poetry / Literature - Non-Fiction

Patrick White was an Australian writer who was born in London. Awarded the 1973 Nobel Prize in Literature.

The Tree of Man (1955) – chronicles the lives of the Parker family and their struggles to survive in the Australian wilderness.

Voss (1957) – is the story of the secret passion between an explorer and a naive young woman. Based on the last Australian expedition of German explorer Ludwig Leichhardt.

Emile Zola was born in France in 1840. He was the best-known practitioner of the literary school of naturalism. His open letter J'Accuse...! was published in 1898 in the newspaper L'Aurore in response to the Dreyfus affair.

Therese Raquin (1867) – concerns an unhappily married woman who enters into a turbulent affair with one of her husband’s friends.

Les Rougon-Macquart (1871-1893) is the collective title given to a monumental twenty-novel cycle about the exploits of various members of an extended family during the French Second Empire. Includes the novels –

La Ventre de Paris (The Belly of Paris) (1873) – set in Les Halles, the central market of 19th century Paris. Tells the story of Florent, an escaped political prisoner who works in the market.

Nana (1880) – tells the story of Nana Coupeau's rise from streetwalker to high-class prostitute.

Germinal (1885) – is a realistic story of a coalminers' strike in northern France in the 1860s. The title refers to the name of a month of the French Republican Calendar.

L'œuvre (The Masterpiece,1886) – is a fictional account of Zola's friendship with the artist Paul Cezanne.

La Bête Humaine (The Human Beast, 1890) – is based upon the railway between Paris and Le Havre. Lantier, a tortured train engineer, falls in love with a troubled married woman who has helped her husband commit a murder.

L’Argent (Money, 1891) – follows Aristide Saccard, an unscrupulous financier who would sell his soul to recapture his lost fortune and rule the Paris Bourse.

La Débâcle (1892) – is set against the background of the series of political and military events that ended the reign of Napoleon III and the Second Empire in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870.

Stefan Zweig was born in Austria.

Letter from an Unknown Woman (1922) – tells the story of an author who, while reading a letter written by a woman he does not remember, gets glimpses into her life story.

Amok (1922) – is set on an ocean-liner travelling from India to Europe. Tells the story of a doctor in the Dutch East Indies torn between his duty and the pull of his emotions.