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Language and Identity
The HS English Department recommends these books as preparation for Language and Identity.
Home Fire by
Call Number: F SHA
Publication Date: 2017
The suspenseful and heartbreaking story of a family ripped apart by secrets and driven to pit love against loyalty, with devastating consequences.
Things Fall Apart by
Call Number: F ACH
Things Fall Apart is a classic narrative about Africa's cataclysmic encounter with Europe as it establishes a colonial presence on the continent.
Half of a Yellow Sun by
Call Number: F ADI
Half of a Yellow Sun is a tremendously evocative novel of the promise, hope, and disappointment of the Biafran war.
The God of Small Things by
Call Number: F ROY
They all broke the rules. They all crossed into forbidden territory. They all tampered with the laws that lay down who should be loved, and how. And how much.
The Reluctant Fundamentalist by
Call Number: F HAM
One evening in an outdoor Lahore cafe, a bearded Pakistani man called Changez, tells a nervous American stranger about his love affair with America.
The Bluest Eye by
Call Number: F MOR
The Bluest Eye, published in 1970, is the first novel written by Toni Morrison, winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature.
White Teeth by
Call Number: F SMI
A comic family epic of Little England into which an explosion of ethnic colour is injected, telling the story of three families, one Indian, one white, one mixed, in North London and Oxford from World War II to now.
The Joy Luck Club by
Call Number: F TAN
With wit and wisdom, Amy Tan examines the sometimes painful, often tender, and always deep connection between four women and their American-born daughters.
The White Tiger by
Call Number: F ADI
The White Tiger follows a darkly comic Bangalore driver through the poverty and corruption of modern India's caste society.
The Catcher in the Rye by
Call Number: F SAL
Story of an alienated, disillusioned youth who drops out of school, and spends three days and nights in New York City on a quest for self-discovery.
Their Eyes Were Watching God by
One of the most important and enduring books of the twentieth century, Their Eyes Were Watching God brings to life a Southern love story with the wit and pathos found only in the writing of Zora Neale Hurston.
The Namesake by
The Namesake takes the Ganguli family from their tradition-bound life in Calcutta through their fraught transformation into Americans.
The Complete Maus by
Call Number: 920 SPI
Memoir about Vladek Spiegleman, a Jewish survivor of Hitler's Europe, and about his son, a cartoonist who tries to come to terms with his father, his story, and with history itself. Cartoon format portrays Jews as mice and Nazis as cats.
The Complete Persepolis by
Call Number: F SAT
Marjane Satrapi recounts her childhood and coming of age in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution, as well as her self-imposed exile from her native country, through comic strips that reflect how her own history is tied to the history of Iran.
Paracuellos is a work of great courage, created at a time when telling the truth about Spain's political past could get one killed. It is arguably the most important graphic memoir ever created in comics.
Non-fiction / Memoir
Me Talk Pretty One Day by
Call Number: 828 SED
David Sedaris' move to Paris from New York inspired these hilarious pieces, including the title essay, about his attempts to learn French from a sadistic teacher who declares that every day spent with you is like having a caesarean section.
Call Number: 921 WES
An unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University.
The Mother Tongue by
Brilliant exploration into the remarkable history, eccentricities, resilience and sheer fun of the English language.
You Are What You Speak by
With the erudite yet accessible style that marks his work as a journalist, Robert Lane Greene takes readers on a rollicking tour around the world, illustrating with vivid anecdotes the role language beliefs play in shaping our identities, for good and ill.
The Stuff of Thought by
Call Number: 401 PIN
Examines how humans use words to express emotions, drawing on real-life examples to argue that human thoughts are all based on core ideas that are turned into metaphors for every possible situation.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings captures the longing of lonely children, the brute insult of bigotry, and the wonder of words that can make the world right.
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by
Former slave, impassioned abolitionist, brilliant writer, newspaper editor and eloquent orator whose speeches fired the abolitionist cause, Frederick Douglass (1818–1895) led an astounding life.
A Moveable Feast by
Call Number: 921 HEM
Widely celebrated and debated by critics and readers everywhere, the restored edition of A Moveable Feast brilliantly evokes the exuberant mood of Paris after World War I and the unbridled creativity and unquenchable enthusiasm that Hemingway himself epitomized.
Down and Out in Paris and London by
This unusual fictional account, in good part autobiographical, narrates without self-pity and often with humor the adventures of a penniless British writer among the down-and-out of two great cities.