A modern canon of literature

A good friend of mine, Michael Avis, used to be a literature professor in Denver. So I asked him to throw together a modern canon of literature. This is what I got back, and I’m slowly working my way through. Does Michael’s list represent a good modern day canon?

Tender is the Night – F. Scott Fitzgerald
Cat’s Cradle – Kurt Vonnegut
Foucault’s Pendulum – Umberto Eco
Bright Lights Big City – Jay McInerney
Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving
The Scarlet Letter – Nathaniel Hawthorne
Moby Dick – Herman Melville
The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
Ceremony – Leslie Marmon Silko
Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
Jane Ayre – Charlotte Bronte
Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
Slaughterhouse Five – Kurt Vonnegut
Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
A Handful of Dust – Evelyn Waugh
Johnny Got His Gun – Dalton Trumbo
Brothers Karamazov – Fyodor Dostoevsky
Siddhartha – Hermann Hesse
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man – James Joyce
On The Road – Jack Kerouac
Welcome to the Monkey House – Kurt Vonnegut
All the Pretty Horses – Cormac McCarthy
The Good Soldier – Ford Maddox Ford
Metamorphosis – Franz Kafka
The End of the Affair – Graham Greene
The Stranger – Albert Camus
Catcher in the Rye – J. D. Salinger
Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
World According to Garp – John Irving
Jurassic Park – Michael Crichton


One thought on “A modern canon of literature

  1. A bit of a misrepresentation here: TIm asked me to give him a list of fiction that I thought would be interesting. Hardly a modern day canon–a list that I compiled off the top of my head in 5 minutes. Though I stand by it as a good list of interesting literature.


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