SUGGESTED AUTHORS: 12th Grade Research Paper
The following authors have “worked” for students in the past and there is material on each of them in the high school library. You are going to be spending a lot of time with this book, researching it in and out so you have to be interested in the topics and themes at hand! We strongly urge you to do some pre-reading of your author to make sure that it is one you will enjoy researching.
Novelist = n
Poet/Essayist = p
Playwright = play
Short Stories = ss
• W.H. Auden (p) His early poems were written in an intense and dramatic tone and established his reputation as a left-wing political poet and prophet. His later explored religious and ethical themes in a less dramatic manner than his earlier works, but still combined traditional forms and styles with new forms devised by Auden himself. In the 1950s and 1960s many of his poems focused on the ways in which words revealed and concealed emotions.
• Jane Austen (n) an English novelist whose realism, biting social commentary and masterful use of free indirect speech, caricature, and irony have earned her a place as one of the most widely read and most beloved writers in English literature.
o Pride and Prejudice
o Sense and Sensibility
• Samuel Beckett (play) an Irish writer, dramatist and poet. Beckett's work offers a bleak outlook on human culture and both formally and philosophically became increasingly minimalist.
• William Blake (p) Blake is held in high regard for his expressiveness and creativity, and for the philosophical and mystical undercurrents within his work. His paintings and poetry have been characterized as part of both the Romantic movement and "Pre-Romantic" for its large appearance in the 18th century.
• Charlotte Bronte (n) was an English novelist and poet, the eldest of the three Brontë sisters who survived into adulthood, whose novels are English literature standards. She wrote Jane Eyre under the pen name Currer Bell.
o Jane Eyre is a first-person narrative of the title character, an English orphan. Partly autobiographical, the novel abounds with social criticism and sinister gothic elements.
• Emily Bronte (n) an English novelist now best remembered for her only novel Wuthering Heights, a classic of English literature.
• Robert Browning (p) an English poet whose mastery of dramatic verse, especially dramatic monologues, made him one of the foremost Victorian poets.
• Anthony Burgess (n) His dystopian satire A Clockwork Orange, widely considered to be his magnum opus, is by far his most famous novel, and was adapted into a famous, if highly controversial, 1971 film by Stanley Kubrick.
• Robert Burns (p) He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland, and is celebrated worldwide. He is regarded as a pioneer of the Romantic movement and after his death became a great source of inspiration to the founders of both liberalism and socialism.
o Auld Lang Syne
o A Red, Red Rose
• George Gordon, Lord Byron (p) a British poet and a leading figure in Romanticism. Amongst Byron's best-known works are the brief poems “She Walks in Beauty”, “When We Two Parted”, and “So, we'll go no more a roving,” in addition to the narrative poems “Childe Harold's Pilgrimage” and “Don Juan”. He is regarded as one of the greatest British poets and remains widely read and influential, both in the English-speaking world and beyond.
• Lewis Carroll (pseudonym) Charles Lutwidge Dodgson)
o was an English author, mathematician, logician, Anglican deacon and photographer. His most famous writings are Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass, as well as the poems "The Hunting of the Snark" and "Jabberwocky", all examples of the genre of literary nonsense
Arthur C. Clarke (n) a British science fiction author, inventor, and futurist, most famous for the novel 2001: A Space Odyssey.
• Samuel Taylor Coleridge (p) an English poet, Romantic, literary critic and philosopher who, with his friend William Wordsworth, was one of the founders of the Romantic Movement in England and one of the Lake Poets. He is probably best known for his poems “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and “Kubla Khan.”
• Joseph Conrad (n, ss) recognized as a master prose stylist. Some of his works have a strain of romanticism, but more importantly he is recognized as an important forerunner of modernist literature. His narrative style and anti-heroic characters have influenced many writers
o Heart of Darkness
• Charles Dickens (n) the most popular English novelist of the Victorian era and one of the most popular of all time. He created some of literature's most memorable characters. His novels and short stories have never gone out of print.
• John Donne (p) a major representative of the metaphysical poets of the period. His works are notable for their realistic and sensual style and include sonnets, love poetry, religious poems, satires and sermons. His poetry is noted for its vibrancy of language and inventiveness of metaphor, especially as compared to those of his contemporaries.
• Arthur Conan Doyle (ss)
o The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
• George Eliot (n) Mary Anne Evans, better known by her pen name George Eliot, was an English novelist. She was one of the leading writers of the Victorian era. Her novels, largely set in provincial England, are well known for their realism and psychological insight.
• T. S. Eliot (p, play) received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948. Among his most famous writings are the poems “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” “The Waste Land”, “The Hollow Men.”
• E. M. Forster (n) known best for his ironic and well-plotted novels examining class difference and hypocrisy and also the attitudes towards gender and homosexuality in early 20th-century British society.
• William Golding Lord of the Flies
• Robert Graves (p, n) His poems, together with his translations and innovative interpretations of the Greek Myths, his memoir of the First World war, Good-bye to All That, and his historical study of poetic inspiration, The White Goddess, have never been out of print.
• Thomas Hardy (n) of the naturalist movement, although in several poems he displays elements of the previous romantic and enlightenment periods of literature, such as his fascination with the supernatural. The bulk of his work, set mainly in the semi-fictional land of Wessex, delineates characters struggling against their passions and circumstances.
• A.E. Housman (p) best known for his cycle of poems A Shropshire Lad. Lyrical and almost epigrammatic in form, the poems were mostly written before 1900. Their wistful evocation of doomed youth in the English countryside, in spare language and distinctive imagery, appealed strongly to late Victorian, Edwardian and Georgian taste, and to many early twentieth century English composers.
• Aldous Huxley Brave New World
• James Joyce (ss, n) was an Irish expatriate author of the 20th century. He is known for his landmark novel Ulysses (1922) and its controversial successor Finnegans Wake (1939), as well as the short story collection Dubliners (1914) and the semi-autobiographical novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916).
• John Keats (p) one of the key figures of the Romantic movement. Keats' poetry was characterized by elaborate word choice and sensual imagery, notably in a series of odes that were his masterpieces, and which remain among the most popular poems in English literature.
• Rudyard Kipling (n) Born in Bombay, British India, he is best known for his work of fiction The Jungle Book.
• D.H. Lawrence (n, ss) His collected works represent an extended reflection upon the dehumanizing effects of modernity and industrialization. In them, Lawrence confronts issues relating to emotional health and vitality, spontaneity, human sexuality and instinct.
• C.S. Lewis (n) The Screwtape Letters, The Chronicles of Narnia and The Space Trilogy.
• Katherine Mansfield (ss) a prominent modernist writer of short fiction.
• John Milton (p) is best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost.
• George Orwell
o Animal Farm
• Harold Pinter (play) described as "the most influential and imitated dramatist of his generation."
• J.K. Rowling (n) Harry Potter
• Sir Walter Scott (n) (p)
o Rob Roy (1817)
o Ivanhoe (1819)
o The Lady of The Lake, Waverley, The Heart of Midlothian and The Bride of Lammermoor.
• Shakespeare (play)
• George Bernard Shaw (play) an Irish playwright. Nearly all his writings deal sternly with prevailing social problems, but have a vein of comedy to make their stark themes more palatable. Shaw examined education, marriage, religion, government, health care and class privilege, and found them all defective.
• Mary Shelley (n) Frankenstein
• Robert Louis Stevenson (n) Treasure Island (1883)
• Dylan Thomas (p) “Do not go gentle into that good night.“
• J.R.R. Tolkien (n) The Lord of the Rings
• H.G. Wells (n) best known for his work in the science fiction genre. The War of the Worlds.
• Oscar Wilde (play, n) Known for his biting wit, he became one of the most successful playwrights of the late Victorian era in London, and one of the greatest celebrities of his day. The Picture of Dorian Gray.
• Virginia Woolfe (n) most famous works include the novels Mrs Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927) and the book-length essay A Room of One's Own (1929), with its famous dictum, "A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction."
• William Wordsworth (p) a major English Romantic poet.
• William Butler Yeats (p) one of the foremost figures of 20th-century literature.
• Edward Albee (play) best known for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Zoo Story, The Sandbox and The American Dream. His works are considered well-crafted, often unsympathetic examinations of the modern condition.
• Maya Angelou (p, n) Having been called "America's most visible black female autobiographer" she is best known for her series of six autobiographies, which focus on her childhood and early adulthood experiences. The first, best-known, and most highly acclaimed, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), focuses on the first seventeen years of her life, brought her international recognition, and was nominated for a National Book Award.
• James Baldwin (n) novels are notable for the personal way in which they explore questions of identity as well as the way in which they mine complex social and psychological pressures related to being black and homosexual well before the social, cultural or political equality of these groups was improved.
• Toni Cade Bambara (p) considered one of the best African American short story writers, her first collection, Gorilla, My Love, was published in 1972. She preferred to classify her writing as upbeat fiction. Most of the stories in Gorilla, My Love are told through a first-person point of view.
• Dan Brown (n) The Da Vinci Code
• Truman Capote (n) Breakfast at Tiffany's (1958) and In Cold Blood (1966)
• Willa Cather (n) best known for her depictions of frontier life on the Great Plains in novels such as O Pioneers!, My Ántonia, and The Song of the Lark.
• Kate Chopin (n) The Awakening (1899), which is set in New Orleans and Grand Isle, respectively. The people in her stories are usually inhabitants of Louisiana. Many of her works are set about Natchitoches in north central Louisiana.
• Stephen Crane (n, p) he wrote notable works in the Realist tradition as well as early examples of American Naturalism and Impressionism. He is recognized by modern critics as one of the most innovative writers of his generation.
• e.e. cummings (p) body of work encompasses approximately 2,900 poems, two autobiographical novels, four plays and several essays, as well as numerous drawings and paintings. He is remembered as a preeminent voice of 20th century poetry, as well as one of the most popular.
• Philip K. Dick (n) published work during his lifetime was almost entirely in the science fiction genre. Dick explored sociological, political and metaphysical themes in novels dominated by monopolistic corporations, authoritarian governments, and altered states.
• Emily Dickinson (p) she lived a mostly introverted and reclusive life. Many of her poems deal with themes of death and immortality, two recurring topics in letters to her friends.
• Ralph Waldo Emerson (p) best remembered for leading the Transcendentalist movement of the early 19th century.
• William Faulkner (ss, n) most of Faulkner's works are set in his native state of Mississippi. He is considered one of the most important Southern writers along with Mark Twain.
• F. Scott Fitzgerald (n) works are evocative of the Jazz Age, a term he coined himself. He is widely regarded as one of the twentieth century's greatest writers. Fitzgerald is considered a member of the "Lost Generation" of the Twenties.
• Robert Frost (p) highly regarded for his realistic depictions of rural life and his command of American colloquial speech. His work frequently employed settings from rural life in New England in the early twentieth century, using them to examine complex social and philosophical themes.
• Charlotte Perkins Gilman (ss) a utopian feminist during a time when her accomplishments were exceptional for women, and she served as a role model for future generations of feminists because of her unorthodox concepts and lifestyle. Her best remembered work today is her semi-autobiographical short story, "The Yellow Wallpaper", which she wrote after a severe bout of post-partum depression.
• Dashiel Hammett (n) an American author of hard-boiled detective novels and short stories. Among the enduring characters he created are Sam Spade (The Maltese Falcon), Nick and Nora Charles (The Thin Man), and the Continental Op (Red Harvest and The Dain Curse).
• Bret Harte (ss) best remembered for his accounts of pioneering life in California.
• Nathaniel Hawthorne (ss, n) writing centers around New England, many works featuring moral allegories with a Puritan inspiration. His fiction works are considered part of the Romantic movement and, more specifically, dark romanticism. His themes often center on the inherent evil and sin of humanity and his works often have moral messages and deep psychological complexity.
• Robert Heinlein (n) a science fiction writer. Often called "the dean of science fiction writers," he was one of the most popular, influential, and controversial authors of the genre.
• Ernest Hemingway (n) part of the 1920s expatriate community in Paris, and one of the veterans of World War I later known as "the Lost Generation." He received the Pulitzer Prize in 1953 for The Old Man and the Sea, and the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954.
• Langston Hughes (p) one of the earliest innovators of the new literary art form jazz poetry. Hughes is best-known for his work during the Harlem Renaissance.
• Ken Kesey (n) best known for his novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1962), and as a counter-cultural figure who considered himself a link between the Beat Generation of the 1950s and the hippies of the 1960s.
• Jack Kerouac (n) is considered a pioneer of the Beat Generation.
o On the Road
• Rudyard Kipling (n) (p)
o a British author and poet.
best known for his works of fiction The Jungle Book (1894) (a collection of stories which includes Rikki-Tikki-Tavi), Kim (1901) (a tale of adventure), many short stories, including The Man Who Would Be King (1888); and his poems, including Mandalay (1890), Gunga Din (1890), and If— (1910).
• Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (p) works include "Paul Revere's Ride", “The Song of Hiawatha”, and "Evangeline". He was also the first American to translate Dante Alighieri's The Divine Comedy and was one of the five members of the group known as the Fireside Poets.
• Bernard Malamud (n) he was one of the great American Jewish authors of the 20th century. His baseball novel, The Natural, was adapted into a 1984 film starring Robert Redford.
• Herman Melville (n) often classified as part of Dark romanticism.
o Moby Dick
o Billy Budd
• Arthur Miller (play)
o Death of a Salesman
o The Crucible
• Toni Morrison (n) Nobel Prize-winning American author, editor, and professor. Her novels are known for their epic themes, vivid dialogue, and richly detailed black characters; among the best known are her novels The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon, and Beloved, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1988.
• Flannery O’Connor (ss) a Southern writer who often wrote in a Southern Gothic style and relied heavily on regional settings and grotesque characters.
• Eugene O’Neil (play) His plays are among the first to introduce into American drama the techniques of realism. His plays were among the first to include speeches in American vernacular and involve characters on the fringes of society, engaging in depraved behavior, where they struggle to maintain their hopes and aspirations, but ultimately slide into disillusionment and despair.
• Sylvia Plath (p, n) semi-autobiographical novel, The Bell Jar.
• Edgar Allen Poe (ss, p) Best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story and is considered the inventor of the detective-fiction genre. He is further credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction.
• Anne Rice (n) author of gothic and religious-themed books.
o Interview with the Vampire
• Edwin Arlington Robinson (p)
o “The Torrent and the Night Before” 1896
o “Luke Havergal” 1897
o “The Children of the Night” 1897
• Carl Sandburg (p) imagist poet
• Neil Simon (play) one of the most reliable hitmakers in Broadway history, as well as one of the most performed playwrights in the world. Though primarily a comic writer, some of his plays, particularly the Eugene Trilogy and The Sunshine Boys, reflect on the twentieth century Jewish-American experience.
• John Steinbeck (ss, n) wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Grapes of Wrath, published in 1939.
• Harriet Beech Stowe (n) an American abolitionist and author. Stowe's novel Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852) depicted life for African-Americans under slavery; it reached millions as a novel and play, and became influential in the U.S. and Britain and made the political issues of the 1850s regarding slavery tangible to millions, energizing anti-slavery forces in the American North, while provoking widespread anger in the South.
• Henry David Thoreau (n, p) best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay, Civil Disobedience, an argument for individual resistance to civil government in moral opposition to an unjust state.
• Mark Twain (ss, n) an American author and humorist. Twain is most noted for his novels The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which has since been called the Great American Novel, and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
• John Updike (ss, n) most famous work is his Rabbit series (Rabbit, Run; Rabbit Redux; Rabbit Is Rich; Rabbit At Rest; and Rabbit Remembered). Describing his subject as "the American small town, Protestant middle class", Updike was widely recognized for his careful craftsmanship, his unique prose style, and his prolific output, having published more than twenty novels and more than a dozen short story collections.
• Kurt Vonnegut (n) known for works blending satire, black comedy and science fiction, such as Slaughterhouse-Five (1969), Cat's Cradle (1963), and Breakfast of Champions (1973).
• Alice Walker (n) has written at length on issues of race and gender, and is most famous for the critically acclaimed novel The Color Purple for which she won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
• Edith Wharton (n) She combined her insider's view of America's privileged classes with a brilliant, natural wit to write humorous and incisive novels and short stories.
o Ethan Frome 1911
o The Age of Innocence (1920)
• Walt Whitman (p) a part of the transition between Transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse. His work was very controversial in its time, particularly his poetry collection Leaves of Grass which describes the American condition before, during, and after the Civil War.
• Tennessee Williams (play) won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for A Streetcar Named Desire in 1948 and for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in 1955. In addition, The Glass Menagerie (1945) and The Night of the Iguana (1961).
• Thomas Wolfe (n) His books, written and published during the 1920s and 1930s, reflect vividly on American culture and mores of the period, albeit filtered through Wolfe's sensitive, sophisticated and hyper-analytical perspective.
• Richard Wright (n) Native Son
• Margaret Atwood
Canadian author, poet, critic, essayist, feminist and social campaigner. While she may be best known for her work as a novelist, she is also an award winning poet, having published 15 books of poetry to date. Many of her poems have been inspired by myths and fairy tales, which have been interests of hers from an early age. Atwood has also published short stories in Tamarack Review, Alphabet, Harper's, CBC Anthology, Ms., Saturday Night, Playboy, and many other magazines.
• Fyodor Dostoyevsky (n) was a Russian writer, essayist and philosopher, perhaps most recognized today for his novels Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov. Dostoyevsky's literary output explores human psychology in the troubled political, social and spiritual context of 19th-century Russian society.
• Ayn Rand (n) a Russian-American novelist, philosopher, playwright, and screenwriter. She is known for her best-selling novels and for developing a philosophical system called Objectivism. Rand's political views, reflected in both her fiction and her theoretical work, emphasize individual rights (including property rights) and laissez-faire capitalism, enforced by constitutionally limited government.
o The Fountainhead
• Leo Tolstoy (n) a Russian writer widely regarded as among the greatest of novelists. His masterpieces War and Peace and Anna Karenina represent in their scope, breadth and vivid depiction of 19th-century Russian life and attitudes, the peak of realist fiction.