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Modern Classic

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  1. The Bluest Eye

    By Toni Morrison

    Pecola Breedlove, a young black girl, prays every day for beauty. Mocked by other children for the dark skin, curly hair, and brown eyes that set her apart, she yearns for normalcy, for the blond hair and blue eyes that she believes will allow her to finally fit in.Yet as her dream grows more fervent, her life slowly starts to disintegrate in the face of adversity and strife.

  2. In Cold Blood

    By Truman Capote

    Controversial and compelling, In Cold Blood reconstructs the murder in 1959 of a Kansas farmer, his wife and both their children. Truman Capote’s comprehensive study of the killings and subsequent investigation explores the circumstances surrounding this terrible crime and the effect it had on those involved. At the centre of his study are the amoral young killers Perry Smith and Dick Hickcock, who, vividly drawn by Capote, are shown to be reprehensible yet entirely and frighteningly human.

  3. Slaughterhouse-Five

    By Kurt Vonnegut

    Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time, Slaughterhouse-Five, an American classic, is one of the world’s great antiwar books. Centering on the infamous firebombing of Dresden, Billy Pilgrim’s odyssey through time reflects the mythic journey of our own fractured lives as we search for meaning in what we fear most.

  4. Notes of a Native Son

    By James Baldwin

    James Baldwin’s breakthrough essay collection made him the voice of his generation. Ranging over Harlem in the 1940s, movies, novels, his preacher father and his experiences of Paris, they capture the complexity of black life at the dawn of the civil rights movement with effervescent wit and prophetic wisdom.

  5. The Catcher in the Rye

    By J.D. Salinger

    A classic novel originally published for adults, has since become popular among adolescent readers for its themes of angst, alienation and as a critique on superficiality in society. The story is narrated by Holden Caulfield, a 17 year-old teenager recalling events of the previous Christmas after he was kicked out from school.

  6. A Room of One’s Own and Three Guineas

    By Virginia Woolf

    This volume combines two books which were among the greatest contributions to feminist literature this century. Together they form a brilliant attack on sexual inequality. A Room of One’s Own, first published in 1929, is a witty, urbane and persuasive argument against the intellectual subjection of women, particularly women writers. The sequel, Three Guineas, is a passionate polemic which draws a startling comparison between the tyrannous hypocrisy of the Victorian patriarchal system and the evils of fascism.

  7. If Beale Street Could Talk

    By James Baldwin

    Told through the eyes of Tish, a nineteen-year-old girl, in love with Fonny, a young sculptor who is the father of her child, Baldwin’s story mixes the sweet and the sad. Tish and Fonny have pledged to get married, but Fonny is falsely accused of a terrible crime and imprisoned. Their families set out to clear his name, and as they face an uncertain future, the young lovers experience a kaleidoscope of emotions-affection, despair, and hope.

  8. يوميات نائب في الأرياف

    لـ توفيق الحكيم

    الرواية ألفها توفيق الحكيم يسرد فيها مشاهدات من الحوادث والقصص التي عرضت عليه أثناء عمله في القضاء في أحد مناطق الريف المصري. وتدور أحداث الرواية حول معاناة هذا النائب القادم من القاهرة إلى الأرياف، وكيف يمضي وقته في محاربة البعوض والذباب والاصطدام مع المأمور وكاتب النيابة.

  9. The Haunting of Hill House

    By Shirley Jackson

    Four seekers have arrived at the rambling old pile known as Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of psychic phenomena; Theodora, his lovely and lighthearted assistant; Luke, the adventurous future inheritor of the estate; and Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman with a dark past. As they begin to cope with chilling, even horrifying occurrences beyond their control or understanding, they cannot possibly know what lies ahead. For Hill House is gathering its powers – and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.

  10. Lolita

    By Vladimir Nabokov

    Awe and exhilaration–along with heartbreak and mordant wit–abound in Lolita, Nabokov’s most famous and controversial novel, which tells the story of the aging Humbert Humbert’s obsessive, devouring, and doomed passion for the nymphet Dolores Haze. Lolita is also the story of a hyper-civilized European colliding with the cheerful barbarism of postwar America. Most of all, it is a meditation on love–love as outrage and hallucination, madness and transformation.

  11. The House on Mango Street

    By Sandra Cisneros

    Told in a series of vignettes – sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous–it is the story of a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago, inventing for herself who and what she will become. Few other books in our time have touched so many readers.

  12. The Color Purple

    By Alice Walker

    Set in the deep American South between the wars, it is the tale of Celie, a young black girl born into poverty and segregation. Raped repeatedly by the man she calls ‘father’, she has two children taken away from her, is separated from her beloved sister Nettie and is trapped into an ugly marriage. But then she meets the glamorous Shug Avery, singer and magic-maker – a woman who has taken charge of her own destiny. Gradually, Celie discovers the power and joy of her own spirit, freeing her from her past and reuniting her with those she loves.

  13. Giovanni’s Room

    By James Baldwin

    Set in the 1950s Paris of American expatriates, liaisons, and violence, a young man finds himself caught between desire and conventional morality. With a sharp, probing imagination, James Baldwin’s now-classic narrative delves into the mystery of loving and creates a moving, highly controversial story of death and passion that reveals the unspoken complexities of the human heart.

  14. The Handmaid’s Tale

    By Margaret Atwood

    Offred is a “Handmaid” in the Republic of Gilead. She has only one function: to breed. If she deviates, she will, like dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. Brilliantly conceived and executed, this powerful evocation of twenty-first century America explores a world in which oppression of women, and repression of the truth, have become justified.

  15. شرق المتوسط

    لـ عبد الرحمن منيف

    رواية تنتمي إلى أدب السجون عبر فيها عبد الرحمن منيف عن وضع سياسي محتقن تعيشه شعوب العالم العربي ويقع ضحيته شباب الوطن المتحمسين للحرية. وهي تواصل رحلة عبد الرحمن منيف في سجون العالم العربي بعد رواية شرق المتوسط التي نشرها من قبل 15 سنة وكأنه يقول أن مرور الزمن في هذا المكان من العالم ليس له تأثير على العلاقة بين السلطة والمواطنين. وكما في شرق المتوسط فالمكان والزمان غير محددين بل انهما مموهان حيث يخترع منيف دولتين (عمورية وموران) هما صورتان لواقع تعيشه شعوب الوطن العالم العربي عامة.

  16. The Giver by Lois Lowry

    The Giver

    By Lois Lowry

    It is the future. There is no war, no hunger, no pain. No one in The Community wants for anything. Everyone is provided for. Each Family Unit is entitled to one female and male child. Each member of The Community has their profession carefully chosen for them by the Committee of Elders, and they never make a mistake. Jonas, a sensitive twelve-year-old boy, had never thought there was anything wrong with his Community, until one day. From the moment Jonas is selected as the Receiver of Memory at The Ceremony, his life is never the same. Jonas discovers that The Community is not as perfect as it seems. Although they appear to have everything, they are missing something of great importance. It is up to Jonas, with the help of the Giver, to find what long ago had been lost. And so Jonas embarks on an adventure to save the world as he knows it.

  17. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

    Things Fall Apart

    By Chinua Achebe

    Okonkwo is the greatest wrestler and warrior alive, and his fame spreads throughout West Africa life a bush–fire in the harmattan. But when he accidentally kills a clansman, things begin to fall apart. Then Okonkwo returns from exile to find missionaries and colonial governors have arrived in the village. With the world thrown radically off–balance he can only hurtle towards tragedy.