20th-Century British Literature

The exit exam will be based on this list of primary texts. Obviously, reading other primary texts, historical studies, and secondary criticism is one of the best ways of preparing to deal effectively with the texts listed here. A candidate may take the exam in either 20th Century British or American Literature but not both.


  • Conrad,
    Joseph: Heart of Darkness
  • Bowen, Elizabeth,
    The Death of the Heart or The Heat of the Day
  • Ford Madox Ford,
    The Good Soldier
  • Forster, E. M.,
    Howards End
    A Passage to India
  • Gordimer, Nadine,
    Burger's Daughter
  • Joyce, James,
    Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Dubliners or Ulysses
  • Lawrence, D. H.,
    Sons and Lovers
    Women in Love
  • White, Antonia
    Frost in May
  • Lessing, Doris,
    The Golden Notebook
  • Mansfield, Katherine,
    Short Stories
  • Greene, Graham,
    The Heart of the Matter
  • Rhys, Jean,
    Good Morning, Midnight or Wide Sargasso Sea
  • Waugh, Evelyn,
    Brideshead Revisited
    A Handful of Dust
  • Woolf, Virginia,
    Mrs. Dalloway
    To the Lighthouse
  • Emecheta, Buchi,
    The Joys of Motherhood
  • Ishiguro, Kazuo,
    A Pale View of Hills


  • Beckett, Samuel,
    Waiting for Godot
  • O'Casey, Sean,
    Juno and the Paycock
    The Plough and the Stars
  • Pinter, Harold,
    The Homecoming
  • Shaffer, Peter,
  • Shaw, G. B.,
    Heartbreak House
    St. Joan
  • Stoppard, Tom,
    Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
  • Orton, Joe,
    What the Butler Saw
  • Osborne, John,
    Look Back in Anger
  • Synge, J. M.,
    Riders to the Sea
    Playboy of the Western World


Consult The Norton Anthology of English Literature and The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women for the major poems by the following poets:

  • Auden, W. H.
  • Eliot, T. S.
  • Doolittle, Hilda
  • Graves, Robert
  • Gunn, Thom
  • Hardy, Thomas
  • Heaney, Seamus
  • Hughes, Ted Larkin, Philip
  • Lawrence, D. H.
  • Owen, Wilfred
  • Sitwell, Edith
  • Smith, Stevie
  • Thomas, Dylan
  • Yeats, W. B.


  • Essays in The English Modernist Reader, 1910-1930, ed. by Peter Faulkner.
  • Forster, E. M.,
    Aspects of the Novel
  • Orwell, George,
    Collected Essays
  • Woolf, Virginia,
    A Room of One's Own
  • Essays in Gender of Modernism: A Critical Anthology
  • Print This Page
  • Bookmark and Share