Satire is a powerful literary device authors use to critique or mock various aspects of society, often through the use of humor and irony. The titles in this Collection exemplify the art of satire as they critique and interrogate cultural, political, philosophical, and other social ideas and structures.

Publication year 1681Genre Poem, FictionTags Lyric Poem, Satire, Politics / Government, Restoration

John Dryden’s “Absalom and Achitophel” was first published in 1681, in direct response to a political crisis faced by King Charles II from 1679 to 1681. In what became known as the “Exclusion Crisis,” the king’s opponents in Parliament tried to exclude Charles’s brother James from the succession on the grounds that he was a Roman Catholic. “Absalom and Achitophel” is a satiric narrative poem in which Dryden uses a biblical allegory to discuss the... Read Absalom and Achitophel Summary

Publication year 1962Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Satire, British Literature, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Published in 1962, during the height of Cold War tensions between the Soviet Union and the West, Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange reflects the anxieties and paranoia of the era. It is a dystopian novel about a roving gang of teenagers who instill fear in and inflict violence on the populace. The novel is known for its invented language, called Nadsat, which is an amalgam of Russian-influenced slang and Cockney dialect. The protagonist, the gleefully... Read A Clockwork Orange Summary

Publication year 1975Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Society: Colonialism, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags American Literature, Satire

“Africa Kills Her Sun” is a satirical short story by Nigerian author Ken Saro-Wiwa. Published in 1989 in the anthology Adaku and Other Stories, “Africa Kills Her Sun” takes the form of a letter, written in first-person present tense by the main character, Bana. Bana recounts his adult life—his career change, crimes, and remaining moments before execution—to his childhood girlfriend, Zole, whom he has not seen or spoken to in 10 years.Bana begins the letter... Read Africa Kills Her Sun Summary

Publication year 1966Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: RevengeTags Satire, Modern Classic Fiction, Politics / Government, Heinemann African Writers

A Man of the People, by Chinua Achebe, is a novel that chronicles political unrest in an African nation that only recently gained its independence from Britain. The novel opens with the narrator, Odili Samalu, awaiting the arrival of Minister Nanga, also known as Chief Nanga, at Anata Grammar School, where Odili teaches. The villagers are excited to see Nanga, but Odili is not, for he thinks little of Nanga and his political methods, which... Read A Man of the People Summary

Publication year 1956Genre Poem, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Apathy, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Identity: Mental HealthTags Poetry: Dramatic Poem, Satire, Politics / Government, Mental Illness, The Beat Generation, WWII / World War II

Publication year 1991Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Economics, Society: ClassTags Satire, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Psychological Fiction, Drama / Tragedy, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

American Psycho is a 1991 novel by American author Bret Easton Ellis. Set in 1980s New York, the novel follows the life of a wealthy young stockbroker, the novel’s narrator, Patrick Bateman. Surrounded by a world of vapid commercialism and empty excess, Bateman begins acting on his psychopathic thoughts and impulses. His disturbance begins in his imagination. However, it quickly bleeds over into reality with Bateman committing more and more horrific murders, fueled by drug... Read American Psycho Summary

Publication year 1927Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Immigration, Relationships: Friendship, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Society: ClassTags Classic Fiction, Immigration / Refugee, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Action / Adventure, Satire, Class

Publication year 1729Genre Essay / Speech, NonfictionTags Satire, Irish Literature

A Modest Proposal For preventing the Children of Poor People From being a Burthen to Their Parents or Country, and For making them Beneficial to the Publick is a satirical essay published anonymously in 1729 by Irish author Jonathan Swift. Using irony and hyperbole, the essay mocks heartless attitudes toward the poor among English and Irish elites by proposing that impoverished families sell their infant children to be killed and eaten by the rich. One... Read A Modest Proposal Summary

Publication year 1945Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Equality, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Society: CommunityTags Satire, History: European, Politics / Government, Philosophy, Animals, Post-War Era, Allegory / Fable / Parable, British Literature

Published in 1945, Animal Farm by George Orwell (1903-1950) achieved immediate success and remains one of Orwell’s most popular works. A political satire in the guise of a moving and whimsical animal fable, the novella is about a group of farm animals who overthrow their owner, Mr. Jones, and establish animal rule. Although the animals start with high hopes for Animal Farm as a harmonious and just utopia where “all animals are equal” (19), it... Read Animal Farm Summary

Publication year 2015Genre Play, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Equality, Society: Class, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Identity: Gender, Identity: Race, Relationships: Marriage, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Play: Drama, Race / Racism, Satire

Publication year 2006Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Class, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Natural World: PlaceTags Satire, Humor, Race / Racism, History: U.S., Business / Economics, American Literature, Reconstruction Era, African American Literature

Apex Hides the Hurt, a 2006 novel by American author Colson Whitehead, follows a nameless, emotionally muted nomenclature consultant, or an expert in creating brand names. The novel toggles between the protagonist’s memories of success at his company, and his current consulting assignment—renaming a town. The novel satirizes contemporary American consumer culture and features themes of race and identity. Whitehead uses humor and revelation as key narrative techniques in this story about a man who... Read Apex Hides the Hurt Summary

Publication year 1908Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Class, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Identity: Femininity, Self Discovery, Relationships: Marriage, Values/Ideas: ArtTags Classic Fiction, Historical Fiction, Romance, Satire, Edwardian Era

A Room with a View is a 1908 novel by British author E. M. Forster. The novel is split between Italy and England, telling the story of Lucy Honeychurch, a young and spirited middle-class Englishwoman who embarks on a journey of self-discovery during a trip to Italy. During her travels, Lucy falls in love with the free-spirited and unconventional George Emerson, a fellow tourist, but is later forced to choose between her heart's desire and... Read A Room with a View Summary

Publication year 1704Genre Novella, FictionThemes Relationships: SiblingsTags Satire, Irish Literature

Jonathan Swift wrote A Tale of a Tub (published in 1704) not only to expound upon the hypocrisy of religion in early 18th century England, but to explore ideas about critics, oration, ancient and modern philosophies, digressions, and the nature of writing itself. These themes are all underscored with a satirical tone that takes religion, authors, and critics to task. The title refers to the tub that sailors used to toss out to distract whales... Read A Tale Of A Tub Summary

Publication year 1939Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Literature, Society: Class, Values/Ideas: Fate, Life/Time: The Past, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Emotions/Behavior: ConflictTags Irish Literature, Humor, Fantasy, Magical Realism, Fairy Tale / Folklore, Satire, Arts / Culture, Class, British Literature

Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Class, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Romance, Satire

Publication year 1970Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Politics & Government, Natural World: Appearance & RealityTags Satire, Humor, American Literature

Polish-born author Jerzy Kosiński (1933-1991) wrote Being There, published in 1970. The novella satirizes mid-20th-century politics and culture, focusing on the twin pillars of bureaucracy and the media as vehicles for the deterioration of modern thought. Kosiński grew up in Soviet-controlled Poland and came to the United States in 1957. In 1958, he was awarded a Ford Foundation fellowship. He studied at the New School and Columbia University in New York, where he received a... Read Being There Summary

Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Society: Colonialism, Society: EconomicsTags Satire, Humor, Race / Racism

Publication year 1931Genre Novel, FictionTags Satire, Harlem Renaissance

George S. Schuyler’s novel, Black No More: Being an Account of the Strange and Wonderful Workings of Science in the Land of the Free, A.D. 1933-1940, is a satirical novel first published in 1931 by the Macaulay Company. The novel was reissued in 2015 by Martino Publishing, based in Mansfield Centre, Connecticut. Some contemporary scholars categorize this work retrospectively as one of the earliest pieces of literary Afrofuturism, a kind of science fiction unique to... Read Black No More Summary

Publication year 1853Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Relationships: FamilyTags Classic Fiction, Victorian Period, Satire, British Literature

Bleak House is a novel by English Victorian author Charles Dickens, published between 1852-1853. The expansive narrative covers many plots, including the first-person account of the life of Esther Summerson and an ongoing court case concerning a large inheritance thrown into chaos by the existence of contradictory wills. Bleak House has been adapted for the theater, radio, film, and television (most recently in 2005) and is considered among Dickens’ greatest novels. This guide uses an... Read Bleak House Summary

Publication year 1993Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Society: Colonialism, Society: Nation, Relationships: FamilyTags Satire, Colonialism / Postcolonialism

Publication year 1759Genre Novella, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Fate, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Trust & DoubtTags Satire, Philosophy, Science / Nature, French Literature

Candide, or Optimism was first published in 1759 by the French writer Voltaire (born Francois-Marie Arouet in 1694, died in 1778). The most famous and widely read work published by Voltaire, Candide is a satire that critiques contemporary philosophy, and specifically Leibnizian optimism, which posited the doctrine of the best of all possible worlds. Along with other French contemporaries, such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Denis Diderot, and Montesquieu, Voltaire published at the height of the French... Read Candide Summary

Publication year 1963Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Art, Life/Time: Mortality & DeathTags Satire, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Post Modernism

Cat’s Cradle is a satirical science fiction novel by Kurt Vonnegut, published in 1963. The novel, which explores themes related to science, technology, and religion against the backdrop of the Cold War arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union, won critical acclaim for Vonnegut and was nominated for a Hugo Award. This guide refers to the 2010 Dial Trade Press edition.Content Warning: This guide references death by suicide and sexual assault found... Read Cat's Cradle Summary

Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Win & Lose, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Fame, Society: Community, Relationships: Teams, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: The Future, Identity: Race, Identity: Gender, Identity: Mental HealthTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Satire, LGBTQ, Black Lives Matter, Business / Economics, Grief / Death, History: U.S., Incarceration, Race / Racism, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Social Justice

Publication year 1914Genre Poem, FictionThemes Society: War, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Emotions/Behavior: ConflictTags Lyric Poem, Satire, Military / War, Victorian Period, Christian literature

English poet and novelist Thomas Hardy wrote “Channel Firing” in May of 1914, only three months before the beginning of WWI. Eerily prophetic, the poem depicts the global chaos and destruction that soon followed. Overlaid by tones of satire and irony, the poem details the violence of war and humanity’s age-old proclivity toward it through a conversation between God and the dead. Hardy, although best known for his earlier novels, received positive reception concerning war... Read Channel Firing Summary

Publication year 2015Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Society: Economics, Society: Class, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Emotions/Behavior: LoveTags Humor, Satire, Romance, Asian Literature

China Rich Girlfriend is an adult novel published by Doubleday in 2015, the sequel to Singapore-born author Kevin Kwan’s internationally bestselling romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians (2013) and second in a trilogy which concludes with Rich People Problems (2017). Billed as a satire, a mock-epic, and a sprawling family saga that peers into the lives of the ultra-wealthy in Asia, China Rich Girlfriend depicts the efforts of Rachel Chu, a Chinese-born American university professor, and... Read China Rich Girlfriend Summary

Publication year 1996Genre Short Story Collection, FictionTags Satire

George Saunders’s debut collection, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, was originally published in 1996. Comprised of six stories and a novella, the collection is satirical and interrogates late American capitalist consumer culture. In the title story, “CivilWarLand in Bad Decline,” the protagonist works at a CivilWar-era themepark. Due to slumping profits from an increasing gang presence in the park, the boss, Mr. A, decides to hire a psychotic ex-soldier, Samuel. Samuel winds up being a little... Read CivilWarLand in Bad Decline Summary

Publication year 1932Genre Novel, FictionThemes Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Life/Time: The Past, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Humor, Classic Fiction, Satire

Cold Comfort Farm (September 1932) is the first book by British author Stella Gibbons. Upon publication, it became an instant success. The comic novel is a parody of rural romances that were popular in Britain at the time. The story was adapted for two BBC television shows in 1968 and 1981. It was also made into a film starring Kate Beckinsale in 1995. Cold Comfort Farm is classified under the category of Classic Humor Fiction... Read Cold Comfort Farm Summary

Publication year 1939Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Nostalgia, Society: Class, Life/Time: The Past, Society: War, Society: Nation, Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Historical Fiction, Satire, British Literature

Coming Up For Air is an interwar novel written by British author George Orwell shortly before the outbreak of World War II. Originally published in 1939, the novel was written in Morocco while Orwell was recovering from injuries received while fighting in the Spanish Civil War. Set in the late 1930s, the novel follows a middle-aged insurance salesman named George Bowling as he struggles with anxieties about the coming war. Like Orwell’s more famous novels... Read Coming Up for Air Summary

Publication year 2013Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Society: Class, Relationships: FamilyTags Romance, Humor, Satire, Asian Literature

Crazy Rich Asians is a 2013 romance comedy novel by American author Kevin Kwan about a young Asian American woman who travels with her boyfriend to his native Singapore and finds herself suddenly thrust into the cutthroat world of Asia’s uber-rich. Kwan based the novel loosely on his own experiences growing up in Singapore. It is the first novel in a three-book series, followed by China Rich Girlfriend (2015) and Rich People Problems (2017), all... Read Crazy Rich Asians Summary

Publication year 1842Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Class, Society: Economics, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Classic Fiction, Satire, Class, History: European, Politics / Government, Religion / Spirituality, Russian Literature, Victorian Period

Nikolai Gogol called his 1842 work Dead Souls an “epic poem in prose,” though most critics and scholars now refer to it as a novel. Structured in part as an analog to Dante’s Inferno, Dead Souls is an absurdist social satire of imperial Russia before the emancipation of the serfs, especially the foibles and customs of the Russian nobility. Though Gogol is not interested in strict realism, his portraits of nobles who speak French more... Read Dead Souls Summary

Publication year 1832Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Identity: Gender, Identity: Race, Natural World: Place, Society: Politics & GovernmentTags Travel Literature, Satire, History: U.S.

Frances (Fanny) Trollope, today best known as the mother of the popular Victorian author Anthony Trollope, was herself an extraordinarily productive writer in many genres. Her literary career began in middle age when, out of financial desperation, she wrote a travelog describing her impressions of America, gathered on a three-year excursion there. Published in 1832 in two volumes, Domestic Manners of the Americans was a runaway bestseller and a wildly controversial takedown of what Trollope... Read Domestic Manners of the Americans Summary

Publication year 1605Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Aging, Relationships: FriendshipTags Classic Fiction, Mental Illness, Class, Philosophy, Politics / Government, Renaissance, Religion / Spirituality, Satire

Don Quixote is a novel in two parts by Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes published between 1605 and 1615. The novel portrays the life of a middle-aged Spanish man who decides to become a knight, just like the characters in the works of fiction he loves. Considered to be a foundational work of Western literature and one of the first modern novels, Don Quixote is one of the most translated books of all time. It... Read Don Quixote Summary

Publication year 1968Genre Poem, FictionThemes Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Joy, Values/Ideas: FameTags Satire, Lyric Poem, Race / Racism

Publication year 2009Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Natural World: Animals, Natural World: Environment, Emotions/Behavior: RevengeTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Fairy Tale / Folklore, Satire

Olga Tokarczuk is among Poland’s most famous and critically acclaimed contemporary authors. She has received multiple national and international literary awards, including the 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature. Her most well-known novels and their translation dates into English are House of Day, House of Night (2003), Primeval and Other Times (2010), Flights (2018), and The Books of Jacob (2021).Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead was published in Poland in 2009 but didn’t... Read Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead Summary

Publication year 1991Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Relationships: TeamsTags Addiction / Substance Abuse, Relationships, Humor, Psychological Fiction, Satire

Denis Johnson originally published “Emergency” in the September 16, 1991 issue of New Yorker magazine and later as part of his critically acclaimed 1992 short story collection, Jesus’ Son. These linked, fragmentary stories, all narrated by the same troubled, drug-addicted character, examine themes of violence, addiction, loss, and friendship from an unreliable yet sympathetic narrative voice. This guide uses the 1992 version of Jesus’ Son published by Picador/Farrar, Straus and Giroux.“Emergency,” the sixth story in... Read Emergency Summary

Publication year 1872Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Society: Colonialism, Society: Politics & GovernmentTags Victorian Period, Classic Fiction, Satire, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, British Literature

Erewhon: or, Over the Range is a satirical novel detailing the adventures of an unnamed narrator into the fictional country of Erewhon. The novel was written by Samuel Butler, though it was published anonymously in 1872. Butler was known for his controversial views on religion and science, wavering between support of and condemnation of both the Church of England and the Darwinian scientists. As such, his own views influence the satire of the novel, and... Read Erewhon Summary

Publication year 2002Genre Novel, FictionThemes Natural World: EnvironmentTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Satire, Technology, Grief / Death, Social Justice, Class

Feed by M.T. Anderson, published in 2002, is a young adult dystopian cyberpunk novel set in a future in which excessive consumerism is at the center of human identity and technology-driven artificiality serves as a distraction for a world that is in the final stages of complete ecological destruction. The feed is a brain-implanted device that integrates computer and network capabilities into the user’s consciousness and biological functions.For most, the feed is implanted at birth... Read Feed Summary

Publication year 1996Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Masculinity, Society: Community, Identity: Mental Health, Identity: GenderTags Satire, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Mental Illness, Grief / Death

Fight Club (1996) is the debut novel of American author Chuck Palahniuk. Three years later, American filmmaker David Fincher directed the film adaptation starring Brad Pitt as Tyler Durden, Edward Norton as the Narrator, and Helena Bonham Carter as Marla Singer. This study guide uses the 2018 paperback edition published by W. W. Norton & Co.Fight Club is a contemporary work of literary fiction that contends with masculinity, materialism, consumer culture, and modern disillusionment. Inspired... Read Fight Club Summary

Publication year 1884Genre Novella, FictionThemes Society: Class, Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Natural World: Nurture v. Nature, Identity: GenderTags Satire, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Classic Fiction, Fantasy, Philosophy, Class, Gender / Feminism, British Literature, Victorian Period

IntroductionIn his introduction to Flatland: a Romance of Many Dimensions (1884), British mathematician Banesh Hoffmann describes the novel as “a stirring adventure in pure mathematics” and emphasizes the fundamentally fantastical nature of the story (iii). He also says that author Edwin A. Abbott intended the novel to be instructional. Both the surreal nature of Flatland and its didactic elements are plain, but there is disagreement among scholars and readers on the question of exactly what... Read Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions Summary

Publication year 1965Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Class, Identity: Mental Health, Values/Ideas: EqualityTags Satire, Humor, Post Modernism

God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, or Pearls Before Swine is a 1965 novel by American author Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (1922-2007). The novel is a postmodern satire on wealth, capitalism, and the dark side of the American Dream. Vonnegut’s fifth novel is considered a precursor to Slaughterhouse Five (1969) since it introduces many of the themes that appear in that much-lauded novel. God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater contains elements of science fiction, which emerge in a... Read God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater Summary

Publication year 1973Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: War, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Values/Ideas: Science & TechnologyTags Historical Fiction, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, WWII / World War II, Satire, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Gravity’s Rainbow is a 1973 historical satire by American novelist Thomas Pynchon, who is known for complex narratives that are often dense, fragmented, and episodic. The story is set during the last days of World War II as characters search for a mysterious rocket developed by the German military. The novel has been hailed as one of the most important English language works of the 20th century.Pynchon, disinclined to engage with the press or public... Read Gravity's Rainbow Summary

Publication year 1726Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Society: Politics & Government, Self Discovery, Society: NationTags Satire, Classic Fiction, Fantasy, Action / Adventure, Travel Literature

Gulliver’s Travels is a 1726 novel written by Jonathan Swift. It is both an early English novel and a seminal satirical text in British Literature, remaining Swift’s best-known work and spawning many adaptations in both print and film. The targets of Swift’s satire range from political structures in early 18th-century England to the national rivalry between England and France during the same period. Swift also lampoons science and educational trends that lean towards more speculative... Read Gulliver's Travels Summary

Publication year 1854Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Class, Society: Economics, Society: Community, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Identity: FemininityTags Victorian Period, Satire, Classic Fiction, British Literature, Class, Gender / Feminism, Poverty

Hard Times is an 1854 novel by Charles Dickens. The 10th book of Dickens’s career, Hard Times is notably shorter than his other works and is one of the few that isn’t set in London. Instead, Hard Times provides a satirical examination of the fictitious industrial city of Coketown, England. The novel has been adapted numerous times for radio, television, theater, and film.This guide is written using an eBook edition of the 2003 Penguin Classics... Read Hard Times Summary

Publication year 1960Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: EqualityTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Satire

Kurt Vonnegut’s dystopian science fiction story “Harrison Bergeron” was first published in 1961 in The Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy. It has since been adapted for film and television in PBS’s Between Timid and Timbuktu series, Showtime’s Harrison Bergeron, a 2008 short film also titled Harrison Bergeron, and a 2009 short film titled 2081. The story was republished in Vonnegut’s collection Welcome to the Monkey House in 1968. This guide references the e-book version... Read Harrison Bergeron Summary

Publication year 1915Genre Novel, FictionTags Gender / Feminism, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Satire

Herland (1915) is the second installment of The Herland Trilogy by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, but it is typically read as a standalone novel. Gilman was an American humanist, feminist activist, and author of both fiction and nonfiction. Her most famous work is “The Yellow Wallpaper” (1892), a short story that depicts the late 1800s “rest cure”: a popular treatment for women’s mental health that Gilman underwent herself. Herland follows three men—Van, Jeff, and Terry—who find... Read Herland Summary

Publication year 2000Genre Novel, FictionTags Satire, Post Modernism

Mark Danielewski’s 2000 debut novel, House of Leaves, is an experimental text that contains multiple layers of narration. It is a type of frame story: the top frame, or layer, follows the life of Johnny Truant after he finds Zampanò’s manuscript The Navidson Record, with this manuscript acting as House of Leaves’ second layer. Zampanò’s manuscript analyzes the third layer of House of Leaves: a documentary of the same name filmed by Will Navidson. The... Read House Of Leaves Summary

Publication year 1996Genre Novel, FictionTags Satire, Humor, Post Modernism, American Literature, Addiction / Substance Abuse, Sports

Infinite Jest is a fiction novel by David Foster Wallace. First published in 1996, the novel has an unconventional narrative structure with hundreds of extensive footnotes. Exploring themes of addiction, alienation, and the plight of modern existence, Infinite Jest is famous for its complexity and humor. The novel has been praised by critics and heralded as one of the most important literary works of the 20th century. This guide was written using the 2014 Abacus... Read Infinite Jest Summary

Publication year 1999Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Sexuality, Identity: Gender, Self DiscoveryTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Satire

Invisible Monsters is the third novel by bestselling novelist Chuck Palahniuk. Published in 1999, the novel was intended to be Palahniuk’s first published novel but was rejected for its disturbing content. Invisible Monsters is a contemporary work in the first person with a non-linear narration. The main characters include a former model and transgender woman focused on the search for identity in a society where beauty defines a person’s self-worth.Content Warning: Please be advised that... Read Invisible Monsters Summary