Literary Conversations Past Readings

2021–2022

  • Karl Ove Knausgaard, My Struggle
  • W.G. Sebald, Rings of Saturn
  • Natalia Ginzburg, Family Lexicon
  • Walker Percy, The Moviegoer
  • Patrick Leigh Fermor, A Time of Gifts
  • Ivo Andric, Bridge on the Drina
  • James Baldwin, Another Country
  • Elizabeth Bowen, The Hotel
  • V.S. Naipaul, A Bend in the River
  • Magda Szabo, Abigail
  • Alessandro Manzoni, The Betrothed
  • Natalia Ginzburg, The Manzoni Family
  • Edmund De Waal, The Hare With Amber Eyes
  • George Saunders, A Swim In A Pond In The Rain
  • Isaac Babel, Red Cavalry And Other Stories
  • Stefan Zweig, The Royal Game
  • Albert Camus, The Plague
  • Julian Barnes, The Man In The Red Coat
  • Penelope Fitzgerald, The Bookshop
  • L.P. Hartley, The Go-Between
  • Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master And Margarita
  • Shirley Hazzard, The Transit Of Venus

2020–2021

  • Herman Melville, Moby-Dick
  • Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre
  • Carlo Levi, Christ Stopped at Eboli
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mosses From An Old Manse
  • T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom
  • John Marquand, H. M. Pulham, Esq
  • Leo Damrosch, The Club
  • Gertrude Stein, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas
  • Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain
  • Theodore Fontane, Effi Briest
  • James Boswell, Life of Johnson

2019–2020

  • Ernest Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls 
  • Gustave Flaubert, Sentimental Education (Robert Baldick’s 1964 translation for Penguin Classics recommended)
  • Helen Oyeyemi, What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours
  • Honoré de Balzac, Scenes From A Courtesan’s Life
  • Patrick Modiano, Suspended Sentences
  • Homer, The Odyssey (Emily Wilson translation)
  • Elizabeth Gaskell, Wives and Daughters
  • Saul Bellow, Humboldt’s Gift
  • Ivan Turgenev, The Torrents of Spring

2018–2019

  • John Dos Passos, The Big Money
  • William Trevor, The Story of Lucy Gault
  • Viet Thanh Nguyen, The Sympathizer
  • Isak Dinesen, Winter’s Tales
  • Giorgio Bassani, The Garden of the Finzi-Continis
  • Lawrence Durrell, Justine
  • Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Gambler
  • Winston Churchill, My Early Life
  • Wallace Stegner, Angle of Repose
  • Stephen Greenblatt, The Swerve
  • Charlotte Bronte, Villette
  • Amos Oz, A Tale of Love and Darkness

2017–2018

  • Pär Lagerkvist, The Dwarf (translation by Alexandra Dick)
  • Alexander Pushkin, Eugene Onegin
  • St. Augustine, Confessions
  • Charles Dickens, Our Mutual Friend
  • J. M. Coetzee, Disgrace 
  • Anton Chekhov, The Steppe
  • John Dos Passos, The 42nd Parallel
  • Nadine Gordimer,  A Guest of Honor
  • Sybelle Bedford, A Visit to Don Otavio
  • Stefan Zweig, The World Of Yesterday (translation by Anthea Bell (Pushkin Press))
  • John Dos Passos, 1919
  • John Dos Passos, The Big Money

2016–2017

  • ​Joseph Roth, The Radetsky March
  • Elena Ferrante, The Story of a New Name
  • Edith Wharton, A Motor Flight Through France
  • Sinclair Lewis, It Can’t Happen Here
  • Anthony Trollope, The Small House at Allington
  • William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying
  • Henry James, The Bostonians
  • Rudyard Kipling, Kim
  • Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls
  • Franz Kafka, The Trial
  • Walt Whitman, Song of Myself
  • Jane Gardam, Old Filth

2015–2016

  • George Eliot, Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life
  • Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels
  • trans. Seamus Heaney, Beowulf
  • Elena Ferrante, My Brilliant Friend
  • E. M. Forster, A Passage to India
  • Evelyn Waugh, Scoop
  • Henry Adams, Democracy: An American Novel
  • Stendhal, The Charterhouse of Parma
  • Anthony Trollope, The Prime Minister
  • Joseph Roth, The Radetsky March

2014–2015

  • Madame de Lafayette, The Princesse de Cleves
  • Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • Honore de Balzac, Human Comedy: Selected Stories
  • Jean Stafford, Boston Adventure
  • Emile Zola, Germinal
  • Benvenuto Cellini, Autobiography
  • James Baldwin, Go Tell It On the Mountain
  • Junichiro Tanizaki, The Makioka Sisters
  • Charles Dickens, Barnaby Rudge
  • Joseph Conrad, Nostromo

2013–2014

  • Kazuo Ishiguro, The Unconsoled
  • George Santayana, The Last Puritan
  • Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier
  • Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
  • Aldous Huxley, Point Counter Point
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne, The House of Seven Gables
  • George Eliot, Daniel Deronda
  • Anonymous, The Song of Roland
  • Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure
  • Graham Greene, The Comedians

2012–2013

  • Leo Tolstoy, War & Peace
  • Emile Zola, The Belly of Paris
  • Jorge Luis Borges, Labyrinths
  • Benedetta Craveri, The Age of Conversation
  • John Banville, The Infinities
  • Honore de Balzac, Pere Goriot
  • Mario Vargas Llosa, Conversation in the Cathedral
  • Barry Unsworth, Morality Play
  • Naguib Mahfouz, Before the Throne
  • Anthony Trollope, The Warden

2011–2012

  • Vladimir Nabokov, Pale Fire
  • Aeschylus, The Oresteia
  • Orhan Pamuk, The Naive and the Sentimental Novelist
  • Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
  • Daniel Defoe, A Journal of the Plague Year
  • Alexandre Dumas, The Lady of the Camellias
  • Per Petterson, Out Stealing Horses
  • Joseph Conrad, The Secret Agent
  • Waguih Ghali, Beer in the Snooker Club
  • C. P. Snow, The Masters

2010–2011

  • Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried
  • Jonah Lehrer, Proust was a Neuroscientist 
  • Jane Austen, Persuasion
  • Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Frankenstein
  • Shusako Endo, Deep River
  • Stephen Greenblatt, Will in the World
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tender Is The Night
  • Dashiell Hammett, The Maltese Falcon
  • Anton Chekhov, Short Stories of Anton Chekov
  • John LeCarre, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
  • Vergil, Aeneid

2009–2010

  • Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
  • Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita
  • Murasaki Shikibu, The Tale of Genji
  • Robert Graves, Good Bye To All That
  • Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
  • William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra
  • Virginia Woolf, Orlando
  • Marguerite Yourcenar, The Memoirs of Hadrian
  • Salman Rushdie, The Moor’s Last Sigh

2008–2009

  • Charles Dickins, Bleak House
  • Ha Jin, Waiting
  • James Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
  • Nathanael West, Miss Lonelyhearts; Day of the Locust
  • Julion Cortazar, Hopscotch
  • Nadine Gordimer, The Burger’s Daughter
  • George Meredith, The Egoist
  • Kazuo Ishiguru, An Artist of the Floating World
  • Henry James, The Golden Bowl 
  • Anthony Powell, A Question of Upbringing
  • Anthony Powell,  A Buyer’s Market 
  • Anthony Powell, The Acceptance World

2007–2008

  • Stendhal, The Red and the Black
  • Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure
  • Aristophanes, The Birds
  • Henry James, What Maisie Knew
  • William Trevor, Two Lives
  • Eudora Welty, The Optimist’s Daughter
  • Primo Levi, The Periodic Table
  • Francine Prose, Reading Like a Writer
  • Goethe, Faust
  • Leo Tolstoy, The Kreutzer Sonata; How Much Land Does a Man Need; The Death of Ivan Illych

2006–2007

  • Jose Saramago, The History of the Siege of Lisbon
  • Ivan Turgenev, Fathers and Sons
  • G. di Lampedusa, The Leopard
  • Graham Greene, The Power and the Glory
  • Rabelais, Gargantua and Pantagruel
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude
  • Orhan Pamuk, Snow
  • Soren Kierkegaard, Fear and Trembling
  • Eric Auerback, Mimesis
  • Homer, The Iliad

2005–2006

  • William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying
  • Penelope Fitzgerald, Offshore
  • Franz Kafka, The Trial
  • Pat Barker, Regeneration
  • Fyodor Dostoyevski, The Brothers Karamozov
  • Nikos Kanantakis, Zorba the Greek
  • Soren Kirekegaard, Fear and Trembling
  • Julian Barnes, History of the World in 10 1/2 Days
  • Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
  • Dante Alighieri, The Inferno

2003–2005

  • George Eliot, Middlemarch
  • D.H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers
  • Zadie Smith, White Teeth
  • Laurence Sterne, The Life and Times of Tristram Shandy
  • Martha Nussbaum, Poetic Justice: The Literary Imagination and Public Life
  • Tom Stoppard, Arcadia
  • Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary
  • Julian Barnes, Flaubert’s Parrot

2002–2003

  • Gertrude Stein, Three Lives
  • Andre Malraux, Man’s Fate
  • Dawn Powell, The Locusts Have No King 
  • E.M. Forster, Howard’s End; Aspects of the Novel 
  • Andre Gide, The Counterfeiters
  • Charles Dickens, Hard Times
  • Thomas Mann, Dr. Faustus
  • Marcel Proust, Swann’s Way; The Budding Grove
  • Sophocles,Antigone
  • Jean Anouilh, Antigone
  • Book of Job (Hebrew Bible)
  • Archibald MacLeish, J.B.
  • Seamus Heaney, Beowolf
  • John Gardner, Grendel
  • Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
  • James Gould Cozzens, Castaway 

2000–2002

  • Maria & Jennifer Gillan, eds., Unsettling America: An Anthology of Contemporary Multicultural Poetry
  • Athol Fugard, My Children! My Africa!
  • Michael Chabon, The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
  • Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart
  • Keri Hulme, The Bone People
  • Bao Ninh, The Sorrow of War
  • Albert Camus, The Stranger
  • V.S. Naipaul, A Bend in the River
  • Yasunari Kawabata, Snow Country
  • Alan Lightman, The Diagnosis
  • Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs and Steel
  • Richard Wright, Native Son
  • William Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice
  • Niall Ferguson, House of Rothschild
  • Edith Wharton, The Custom of the Country
  • Sinclair Lewis, Babbitt

1999–2000

  • John Milton, Paradise Lost
  • Book of Jeremiah (Hebrew Bible)
  • Thomas Friedman, The Lexus and the Olive Tree
  • William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night
  • William Blake, Songs of Innocense and Experience
  • Dava Sobel, Galileo’s Daughter
  • Simon Winchester, The Professor and the Madman 
  • Somerset Maugham, The Razor’s Edge

1998–1999

  • William Shakespeare, King Lear
  • Jane Austen, Persuasion
  • Dylan Thomas, A Child’s Christmas in Wales
  • Henry James, Washington Square
  • James Carroll, American Requiem
  • Molly Keane, Time After Time
  • Andrei Makine, Dreams of My Russian Summer
  • Oe Kenzaburo, A Personal Matter 
  • Anton Checkhov, The Cherry Orchard 

1997–1998

  • Homer, The Odyssey
  • Jack Kerouac, On the Road
  • Mark Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • William Faulkner, Light in August
  • Elizabeth Griffith, In her Own Right: Life of E.C. Stanton
  • Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha 
  • Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse
  • J.M. Coetzee, Life and Times of Michael K 
  • T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
  • James Joyce, Ulysses
  • Octavio Paz, The Double Flame: Love and Eroticism
  • Madame de Lafayette, The Princess of Cleves
  • Nigel Nicholson, Portrait of a Marriage
  • Edward Albee, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
  • William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra; Othello
  • Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

1995–1997

  • Arthur Miller, The Crucible
  • Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter
  • Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
  • Sophocles, Oedipus Rex; Oedipus at Colonnus; Antigone
  • Pablo Neruda, Love: Ten Poems
  • Duberman, Paul Robeson: A Biography
  • Bernard Malamud, The Fixer
  • Kazuo Ishiguro, Remains of the Day
  • Tinberg, The Nightingale’s Song
  • Shakespeare, Richard II
  • Whitman, Yeats, Seaney & Brooke, Poems
  • Vera Brittain, Testament of Youth