This page presents the cumulative reading list of all the “War Stories” texts – written and otherwise – I used in my five years teaching English 102 in the First Year Writing Program at Quinnipiac University, as well as other titles I had planned to teach.
My Fall 2017 class was designed to draw exclusively on war stories told about or by women. The list of titles included:
Alcott, Louisa May. Civil War Hospital Sketches. Mineola, NY: Dover, 2015. [Memoir]
Aung San Suu Kyi. Letters from Burma. (The author is winner of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize)
Blair, Jane. Hesitation Kills. [USMC]
Chesnutt, Mary. A Diary from Dixie. Kindle. [Hard to find in the Northeast, but worth the search; not now available except from sellers who specialize in used and out-of-print books.]
Goodell, Jessica, and John Hearn. Shade it Black. [Memoir]
“Mrs. Miniver,” a 1942 William Wyler film starring Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, and Teresa Wright. This film was based on a book of the same name written by Jan Struther.
Schultz, Katey. Flashes of War. Baltimore: Apprentice/Loyola U, 2013. Print. Winner of several awards, and for good reason – The collection of stories is exceptional.
Wharton, Edith. A Son at the Front.
Williams, Kayla. Love my Rifle more than You: Young and Female in the U.S. Army. [Iraq] [Memoir]
TITLES READ or VIEWED IN PREVIOUS CLASSES (Up to May 2017)
Bonaldo, Mike. “You don’t want to look at your friend who has just been shot.” What Was Asked of Us: An Oral History of the Iraq War by the Soldiers Who Fought It. New York: Little, Brown. 222-227. Print. [A first-person account of the combat incident known as Hell House, which took place during the second battle of Fallujah.]
Bonaldo, Mike. “Memorial Day.” Folio: Arts and Literary Magazine of Southern Connecticut State University, 2010. Web 5 Apr 2014.
Crane, Stephen. The Red Badge of Courage. New York: Signet, 2011. Print. [A classic tale.]
Dos Passos, John. Three Soldiers. (Orig. Release Date 1921) Produced by Eve Sobol. The Project Gutenberg. Released Aug 2004. Updated Aug 17 2012. Online. Linked 21 Nov. 2013. http://www.gutenberg.org/files/6362/6362.txt 230-234. Print.
Homer, Iliad. Tr. Robert Fagles. New York: Penguin, 1998. Print. [A moving translation of an ancient work of art.]
Keats, John. “On First Seeing Chapman’s Homer.” Various sources. Web.
Merritt, William E. “Hand Grenade.” Where the Rivers Ran Backward. Athens, Ga.: U of Georgia P, 1989. 133. Print. [A collection of remembrances from the Vietnam War.]
—. “Explosion.” Where the Rivers Ran Backward. Athens, Ga.: U of Georgia P, 1989.
Ninh, Bao. The Sorrow of War. Tr. Phan Thanh Hao. New York: Riverhead Books, 1996. Print. [An extraordinary novel by a former North Vietnamese soldier. Equal parts mysticism, resilience, and brutality.]
O’Brien, Tim. “The Man I Killed.” The Things They Carried. New York: Broadway Books, 1998. 124-130. Print.
Powers, Kevin. The Yellow Birds. Boston: Little, Brown, 2013. Print.
Schultz, Katey. Flashes of War. Baltimore: Apprentice/Loyola U, 2013. Print. [Winner of several awards; flash fiction.]
Simms, William Gilmore. Sack and Destruction of the City of Columbia, S.C. 2nd Edition Ed. A.S. Salley. Atlanta: Oglethorpe U P, 1937. Chapters 1-10, 25-43. Print. [A Civil War document.]
Vonnegut, Kurt. Slaughterhouse-Five. New York: Dell, 1991. Print. [A fractured narrative, a tour de force.]
Whitman, Walt. Drum Taps. New York: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014. Print. [Whitman’s poems about the Civil War and President Lincoln’s assassination.]
Wiesel, Elie. Night. Tr. Marion Wiesel. New York: Hill and Wang, 2006. Print. [This fictionalized memoir has been translated by Wiesel’s wife, Marion.]
Wolff, Tobias. In Pharaoh’s Army. London: Bloomsbury, 1994. 72-83. Print. [Wolff’s time in the Vietnam War.]
World War I Poetry (Available through Poem Hunter and other Web resources):
- Brooke, Rupert.
- 1914 I: Peace
- 1914 III: The Dead
- 1914 IV: The Dead
- 1914 V: The Soldier
- Sassoon, Siegfried
- Suicide in the Trenches
- Owen, Wilfred
- Dulce et Decorum Est
- Anthem for Doomed Youth
- Also, Benjamin Britten’s choral work “Requiem,” inspired by “Futility”
- And excerpts of filmed versions of Britten’s “Requiem”
“Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.” Dir. Stanley Kubrick. Perf. Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden, Keenan Wynn, Slim Pickens. Columbia Pictures/Hawk Films, 1964
“Paths of Glory.” Dir. Stanley Kubrick. Perf. Kirk Douglas, Ralph Meeker. Bryna Productions, 1957. [World War I.]
Excerpts from a filmed version of Benjamin Britten’s “Requiem” (See above, under World War I Poetry, Owen, Wilfred) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHNgfF19CTY
Filmed recording of the Rebel Yell, by Civil War veterans and by re-enactors – on You Tube. http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLN4_KbfHbO3OB8T7dJtGhVEyzfuOyDBM5 [Confederate veterans from North Carolina give the rebel yell.]
PAINTINGS or PHOTOGRAPHS:
Brady, Mathew. Multiple photographic images credited to him and his company. [Civil War]
Cook, George S. Several photographic images. [Civil War]
Trumbull, John. “George Washington.” Painting at the Yale Art Gallery in New Haven. Yale Art Gallery. Web. 3 Dec. 2013. [ON VIEW AT YALE] [Revolutionary War]
Trumbull, John. “The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776.” Painting at the Yale Art Gallery in New Haven. Yale Art Gallery. Web. 3 Dec. 2013. [ON VIEW AT YALE] [Revolutionary War]
Trumbull, John. “The Battle of Bunker’s Hill, June 7, 1775.” 1786. Painting at the Yale Art Gallery in New Haven. Yale Art Gallery. Web. 3 Dec. 2013. [ON VIEW AT YALE] [Revolutionary War]
Trumbull, John. “The Death of General Mercer at the Battle of Princeton, January 3, 1777.” ca. 1789-ca. 1831. Painting at the Yale Art Gallery in New Haven. Yale Art Gallery. Web. 3 Dec. 2013. [ON VIEW AT YALE] [Revolutionary War]
Trumbull, John. “The Surrender of General Burgoyne at Saratoga, October 16, 1777.” ca. 1822-32. Painting at the Yale Art Gallery in New Haven. Yale Art Gallery. Web. 3 Dec. 2013. [ON VIEW AT YALE] [Revolutionary War]
Trumbull, John. “The Capture of the Hessians at Trenton, December 26, 1776.” 1786- 1828. Painting at the Yale Art Gallery in New Haven.Yale Art Gallery. Web. 3 Dec. 2013. [ON VIEW AT YALE] [Revolutionary War]
I had also hoped to offer these titles in some future classes. They do not all address “war” in the traditional meaning of the word, but they do all tell of protracted, and intense, violent conflicts that mirror what most of us think of when we hear the word.
Baldwin, James. “My Dungeon Shook: A Letter to my Nephew on the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Emancipation.” Online. [Civil Rights]
Bennett, Lerone, Jr. “The Convert.” Short Stories of the Civil Rights Movement: An Anthology. Ed. Margaret Earley Whitt. Athens, Ga.: U of Georgia P, 2006. 197- 212. Print. [Civil Rights]
Cather, Willa. One of Ours. New York: Knopf, 1922. [1923 Pulitzer for Novel]
Hart, Peter Voices from the Front: An Oral History of the Great War (Oxford University Press, 2016).
Herr, Michael. Dispatches. New York: Knopf, 1977. [Vietnam]
Duong Thu Huong. Novel Without a Name. London, Penguin, 1996. [Vietnam]
Klay, Phil. Redeployment. New York: Penguin, 2014. Print [Iraq War]