Donald Barthelme’s Reading List by Believer Mag

81 books recommended by Author Donald Barthelme to his students at the University of Houston.

  1. Hunger by Knut Hamsun

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    Hunger is a novel by the Norwegian author Knut Hamsun and was published in its final form in 1890. Parts of it had been published anonymously in the Danish magazine Ny Jord in 1888. The novel is ha...


  2. The George Sand-Gustave Flaubert Letters by Gustave Flaubert


  3. Surrealist Manifesto by André Breton


  4. Nadja by André Breton


  5. Journey to the End of The Night by Louis-Ferdinand Céline

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    Journey to the End of Night is the first novel of Louis-Ferdinand Céline. This semi-autobiographical work describes antihero Ferdinand Bardamu. His surname, Bardamu, is derived from the French word...


  6. Seven Gothic Tales by Karen Blixen


  7. At Swim Two-Birds by Flann O'Brien

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    At Swim-Two-Birds is a 1939 novel by Irish author Brian O'Nolan, writing under the pseudonym Flann O'Brien. It is widely considered to be O'Brien's masterpiece, and one of the most sophisticated ex...


  8. Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry

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    To describe his perennial theme, Lowry once borrowed the words of the critic Edmund Wilson: "the forces in man which cause him to be terrified of himself." You see exactly what he means in this cor...

    - Time

  9. The Box Man by Kobo Abé

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    Kōbō Abe (安部公房, Abe Kōbō?), pseudonym of Kimifusa Abe (Abe Kimifusa, March 7, 1924 – January 22, 1993) was a Japanese writer, playwright, photographer and inventor.


  10. The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell

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    The Hero with a Thousand Faces (first published in 1949) is a non-fiction book, and seminal work of comparative mythology by Joseph Campbell. In this publication, Campbell discusses his theory of t...


  11. A Homemade World by Hugh Kenner

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    William Hugh Kenner (January 7, 1923 – November 24, 2003), was a Canadian literary scholar, critic and professor.


  12. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

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    The novel addresses many of the social and intellectual issues facing African-Americans in the early twentieth century, including black nationalism, the relationship between black identity and Marx...


  13. Other Inquisitions by Jorge Luis Borges


  14. The Palm-Wine Drinkard by Amos Tutola

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    The Palm-Wine Drinkard (subtitled "and His Dead Palm-Wine Tapster in the Dead's Town") is often considered the seminal work of modern African literature. It was the first work of print literature a...


  15. For a New Novel by Alain Robbe-Grillet

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    Alain Robbe-Grillet (French pronunciation: [alɛ̃ ʁɔb ɡʁiˈje]) (18 August 1922 – 18 February 2008), was a French writer and filmmaker. He was, along with Nathalie Sarraute, Michel Butor and Claude S...


  16. The Collected Stories of Isaac Babel by Isaac Babel

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    Babel was best known for his mastery of the short story form-in which he ranks alongside Kafka and Hemingway-but his career was tragically cut short when he was murdered by Stalin's secret police. ...


  17. The Assistant by Bernard Malamud

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    The Assistant (1957, ISBN 0-374-50484-9) is Bernard Malamud's second novel. Set in a working-class neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, it explores the situation of first- and second-generation Amer...


  18. I'm Not Stiller by Max Frisch

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    Max Rudolf Frisch (May 15, 1911 – April 4, 1991) was a Swiss architect, playwright and novelist, regarded as highly representative of German literature after World War II. In his creative works Fri...


  19. Gimpel the Fool by Isaac B Singer

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    "Gimpel the Fool" (1953) is a short story by Isaac Bashevis Singer, translated into English by Saul Bellow in 1953. It tells the story of Gimpel, a simple bread maker who is the butt of many of his...


  20. Mythologies by Roland Barthes

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    Mythologies is the title of a book by Roland Barthes, published in 1957. It is a collection of essays taken from Les Lettres nouvelles, examining the tendency of contemporary social value systems t...


  21. The Magic Barrel by Bernard Malamud

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    The Magic Barrel is a collection of thirteen short stories written by Bernard Malamud and published in 1958. It won the 1959 National Book Award for fiction. The stories included are The First Sev...


  22. Advertisements for Myself by Norman Mailer

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    Advertisements for Myself is an omnibus collection of short works and fragments by Norman Mailer, linked with commentaries supplied by the author himself. The collection, which was published by G.P...


  23. Henderson The Rain King by Saul Bellow

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    Bellow's glorious, spirited story of an eccentric American millionaire who finds a home of sorts in deepest Africa.


  24. Little Disturbances by Grace Paley


  25. Rabbit, Run by John Updike

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    Rabbit, Run depicts five months in the life of a 26-year-old former high school basketball player named Harry 'Rabbit' Angstrom, and his attempts to escape the constraints of his life.


  26. The Moviegoer by Walker Percy

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    The Moviegoer tells the story of Binx Bolling, a young stockbroker in post-war New Orleans. The decline of Southern traditions, the problems of his family and his traumatic experiences in the Korea...


  27. The Rhetoric of Fiction by Wayne C Booth


  28. Tell Me a Riddle by Tillie Olsen


  29. The Lime Twig by John Hawkes

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    The Lime Twig is a 1961 novella by American writer John Hawkes.


  30. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

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    The title is taken from an old Cockney expression, "as queer as a clockwork orange" and alludes to the prevention of the main character's exercise of his free will through the use of a classical co...


  31. The Death of Artemio Cruz by Carlos Fuentes

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    Artemio Cruz--soldier, politician, journalist, tycoon, lover: all corrupt--lies on his deathbed, recalling the shaping events of his life, from the Mexican Revolution through the development of the...


  32. Thank You and Other Poems by Kenneth Koch


  33. Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges

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    Labyrinths (1962) is an English-language collection of short stories and essays by Jorge Luis Borges.


  34. V by Thomas Pynchon

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    V. is the debut novel of Thomas Pynchon, published in 1963. It describes the exploits of a discharged U.S. Navy sailor named Benny Profane, his reconnection in New York with a group of pseudo-bohem...


  35. Gogol's Wife by Tommaso Landolfi


  36. Against Interpretation by Susan Sontag

    Image of Against Interpretation

    Against Interpretation and Other Essays is a collection of essays by Susan Sontag which was published in 1966. It includes some of Sontag's best-known works, including "On Style", "Notes on 'Camp'"...


  37. Rivers and Mountains by John Ashbery


  38. The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien

    Image of The Third Policeman

    The Third Policeman is a novel by Irish author Brian O'Nolan, writing under the pseudonym Flann O'Brien. It was written between 1939 and 1940, but after it initially failed to find a publisher, the...


  39. The Pure and the Impure by Colette

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    Colette herself considered The Pure and the Impure her best book, "the nearest I shall ever come to writing an autobiography." This guided tour of the erotic netherworld with which Colette was so i...


  40. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

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    One of the 20th century's enduring works, One Hundred Years of Solitude is a widely beloved and acclaimed novel known throughout the world, and the ultimate achievement in a Nobel Prize–winning car...


  41. Kaspar and Other Plays by Peter Handke


  42. In the Heart of the Heart of the Country by William H. Gass


  43. Nog by Rudy Wurlitzer

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    Nog is a psychedelic novel by Rudolph Wurlitzer published in 1969. Written in an experimental style, the novel is described by Atlantic Monthly as being effective at replicating "the slight and con...


  44. Sexual Perversity in Chicago by David Mamet


  45. Fiction and the Figures of Life by William H. Gass


  46. Collected Poems of Frank O'Hara by Frank O'Hara

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    Francis Russell O'Hara (March 27, 1926 – July 25, 1966) was an American poet who, along with John Ashbery, James Schuyler, Barbara Guest and Kenneth Koch, was a key member of the New York School of...


  47. The Complete Stories of Flannery O'Connor by Flannery O'Connor

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    The publication of this extraordinary volume firmly established Flannery O'Connor's monumental contribution to American fiction. There are thirty-one stories here in all, including twelve that do n...


  48. Collected Stories of Peter Taylor by Peter Taylor

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  49. Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino

    Image of Invisible Cities

    Invisible Cities (Italian: Le città invisibili) is a novel by Italian writer Italo Calvino. It was published in Italy in 1972 by Giulio Einaudi Editore.


  50. A Sorrow Beyond Dreams by Peter Handke

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    Peter Handke (born 6 December 1942, in Griffen, Austria) is an avant-garde Austrian novelist and playwright.


  51. Chimera by John Barth

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    Chimera is a 1972 novel in the form of three loosely connected novellas by John Barth. The novellas are Dunyazadiad, Perseid and Bellerophoniad, the eponyms of which are Dunyazad, Perseus and Belle...


  52. Mumbo Jumbo by Ishmael Reed

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    Mumbo Jumbo is a 1972 novel by African-American author Ishmael Reed. Set in 1920s New York City, the novel takes its plot from the struggles of "The Wallflower Order," an international conspiracy d...


  53. Documents of Modern Art by Robert Motherwell

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  54. The New Fiction by Joe David Bellamy


  55. Enormous Changes at the Last Minute by Grace Paley


  56. The Pleasure of the Text by Roland Barthes

    Image of The Pleasure of the Text

    The Pleasure of the Text is a short book published in 1975 by Roland Barthes. It was written in French and later translated into English. Barthes sets out some of his ideas about literary theory.


  57. Searching for Caleb by Anne Tyler

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    Searching for Caleb is Anne Tyler's sixth novel. It was originally published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1975.


  58. Superfiction by Joe David Bellamy

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    Short stories by such writers as Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Joyce Carol Oates, John Gardner, and John Updike reveal experiments with myth and parable and other trends in American fiction during the past d...


  59. Pushcart Prize Anthology by Pushcart Prize

    Image of Pushcart Prize Anthology

    The Pushcart Prize is a prestigious American literary prize by Pushcart Press that honors the best "poetry, short fiction, essays or literary whatnot" published in the small presses over the previo...


  60. Will You Please be Quiet, Please? by Raymond Carver

    Image of Will You Please be Quiet, Please?

    Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?, published in 1976, was the first short-story collection by American writer Raymond Carver. This minimalist collection revolves around themes of segregation and di...


  61. The Oranging of America by Max Apple

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    Max Apple (born October 22, 1941) is an American short story writer, novelist, and university professor at The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Apple, who was born in Grand...


  62. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

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    It follows the life of Macon "Milkman" Dead III, an African-American male living in Michigan, from birth to adulthood. The main theme in the novel is Milkman's quest for identity as a black man in ...


  63. The Coup by John Updike


  64. Tragic Magic by Wesley Brown


  65. The World Within the Word by William H. Gass


  66. The Stories of John Cheever by John Cheever

    Image of The Stories of John Cheever

    The Stories of John Cheever is a 1978 short story collection by American author John Cheever. It contains some of his most famous stories, including "The Enormous Radio," "Goodbye, My Brother," "Th...


  67. I, etcetera by Susan Sontag

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    I, etcetera is a 1978 collection of short stories by Susan Sontag.


  68. The Changeling by Joy Williams

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  69. The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera

    Image of The Book of Laughter and Forgetting

    With its seven interrelated parts--rich in story, character, and imaginative range--"The Book of Laughter and Forgetting (1978) is the novel that brought Czech-born Milan Kundera his first big inte...


  70. Correction by Thomas Bernhard

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    Correction is a novel by Thomas Bernhard, originally published in German in 1975, and first published in English translation in 1979 by Alfred A. Knopf. It is a remarkable work, formally innovative...


  71. Man in the Holocene by Max Frisch

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    The parabolic novella Man in the Holocene (1979) is one of Max Frisch’s later works. A distinctive feature of this book’s style are the reprinted cutouts, that the protagonist, Mr. Geiser, cut out ...


  72. Going After Cacciato by Tim O'Brien

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    This complex novel is set during the Vietnam War and is told from the point of view of the protagonist, Paul Berlin. The story traces the events that ensue after Cacciato, a member of Berlin's squa...


  73. Black Tickets by Jayne Anne Phillips

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    Jayne Anne Phillips (born July 1952) is an American novelist and short story writer, born in the small town of Buckhannon, West Virginia.


  74. The Writer on Her Work by Janet Sternburg

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    Published to high praise "groundbreaking ...a landmark" (Poets & Writers) this was the first anthology to celebrate the diversity of women who write. Seventeen novelists, poets, and writers of nonf...


  75. Falling in Place by Ann Beattie


  76. Blood Oranges by John Hawkes


  77. How We Live by Rust Hills


  78. The Paris Review Interviews by Paris Review

    Image of The Paris Review Interviews

    The Paris Review is an English-language literary magazine based in New York City. As its name suggests it was founded in Paris in 1953, for "the good writers and good poets, the non-drumbeaters and...