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The Struggle for Identity in Modern Literature: prose

This is one of a series of pages on The Struggle for Identity in Modern Literature; use the links in the menu on the left to navigate to the other pages on general materials, drama and poetry.

The AQA course, AS Level English Literature A, requires the study of one post-1990 text and one written between 1800 and 1945; such texts are indicated here.

AQA prose texts for Unit 2
Wider reading
Prose fiction

If you are teaching or studying the AQA course it is essential to refer to the AQA specification to ensure that you are reading the right texts and meeting all the requirements!

  • Any of the ten named prose texts for Unit Two, or any other novel by Morrison.
  • Chinua Achebe: Things Fall Apart (Penguin, 1958)
  • James Baldwin: Go Tell it on the Mountain (Penguin)
  • Nadine Gordimer: July's People (Bloomsbury, 1981)
  • Radclyffe Hall: The Well of Loneliness (Virago, 1928) pre-1945
  • Zora Neale Hurston: Their Eyes Were Watching God (Virago, 1937) pre-1945
  • Andrea Levy: Small Island (Headline, 2004) post 1990
  • Patrick McCabe: Breakfast on Pluto (Picador, 1998) post 1990
  • Anne Michaels: Fugitive Pieces (Bloomsbury, 1996) post 1990
  • Arundhati Roy: The God of Small Things (Harper Perennial, 1997) post 1990
  • Robert Tressell: The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists (1914) - Penguin Modern Classics edition linked, as specified Flamingo out of print pre-1945
  • Irvine Welsh: Trainspotting (Vintage, 1993) post 1990
  • Jeanette Winterson: Oranges are not the Only Fruit (Vintage, 1984)
  • Richard Wright: Native Son (Vintage, 1940) pre-1945
  • Kurt Vonnegut: Slaughterhouse 5 (Vintage, 1969)
Prose non-fiction
Autobiographies, biographies and diaries
  • Maya Angelou: Autobiography, especially I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings (Virago, 1969)
  • Diana Souhami: The Trials of Radclyffe Hall (Virago, 1999)
Memoirs and interviews
  • Silvia Calamati: Women’s stories from the North of Ireland (Beyond the Pale Publications, 2002) post 1990
  • Bobby Sands:Skylark Sing Your Lonely Song (Mercier Press, 1982)
  • Malcolm X : Malcolm X Talks to Young People (Pathfinder, 1964-1965)
  • Alice Walker: The Same River Twice: Honoring the Difficult (Phoenix, 1996) post 1990
  • Salman Rushdie: The Jaguar Smile: A Nicaraguan Journey (Vintage, 1987)
Dreams, Questions, Struggles: Asian Women in Britain
History and cultural commentary, essays and speeches
  • David Beresford: Ten Men Dead: The Story of the 1981 Irish Hunger Strike (Harper Collins, 1987)
  • Beverley Bryan, Suzanne Scafe, Stella Dadzie: The Heart of the Race (Virago, 1985)
  • Germaine Greer: The Female Eunuch (Harper Perennial, 1970)
  • Martin Luther King Jr.: I Have A Dream: Writings And Speeches That Changed The World (Harper, 1956-68)
  • Adhaf Soueif: Mezzaterra-Fragments from the Common Ground (Bloomsbury, 2004) post 1990
  • Amrit Wilson: Dreams, Questions, Struggles: South Asian Women in Britain (Pluto Press, 2006) post 1990
  • Parliament: Section 28 of the Education Act 1988
Literary Criticism
  • Ralph Ellison: Shadow and Act (Vintage, 1967)
  • Dolly A. McPherson: Order out of Chaos:The Autobiographical Works of Maya Angelou (Virago, 1990)
  • Kate Millet: Sexual Politics (Virago, 1977)
  • Amrit Wilson: Finding a Voice: Asian Women in Britain (Virago, 1978)
  • Richard Wright: A Blueprint for Negro Writing (1937) pre-1945
  • Jeremy Hawthorn ed.: The British Working Class Novel in the Twentieth Century (Hodder Arnold, 1984)
Prose in translation
  • Isabel Allende: The House of the Spirits (Chile/Spanish) (Black Swan, 1985)
  • Alexandra Kollontai: Love of Worker Bees (USSR/Russian) (Virago, 1930) pre-1945
  • Manuel Puig: Kiss of the Spider Woman (Argentina/Spanish) (Vintage, 1976)
  • Alexander Solzhenitsyn: One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch (Russian) (Penguin, 1962)
Non fiction, autobiography, diary, travelogue
  • Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl (Dutch) (Penguin, 1947)
  • Che Guevara: The Motorcycle Diaries (Argentina/Spanish) (Harper Perennial, 1952)
  • Nawal al-Saadawi: Memoirs from the Women's Prison (Egypt/Arabic) 1984
Finding prose texts online
Because many of the texts are still in copyright, finding texts is likely to be difficult, though some works may be available. See the usual sources of online texts listed on the literature links page, in particular:
Useful websites
See the weblinks on the introductory page for general links for the Struggle for Identity in Modern Literature.
  • American Rhetoric: text, audio and video versions of public speeches, including Martin Luther King; hear them and read transcripts.