An Unnecessary Woman Literature References Reading List

Rabih Alameddine’s An Unnecessary Woman tells the story of introverted literature translator, Aaliya.  It is a moving novel I enjoyed immensely (read my review).  It is an especially wonderful book for literature lovers because it is brimming with references to and quotes from many wonderful works of fiction, poetry, and some non fiction.  I mentioned in my review that as I was reading I couldn’t help but note down the works mentioned in An Unnecessary Woman.  Here is a reading list compiled of the works of fiction mentioned in this wonderful novel.  It is an interesting and diverse list from which I think you’ll find some reading gems.  This list, as long as it is, is but a crumb of what Alameddine gives us in his novel about the literature referenced.  I highly recommend you read An Unnecessary Woman to read his comments on these and other works as well as specific authors.

Austerlitz (2001) by W G Sebald
The Emigrants (1992) by W G Sebald
2666 (2004) by Roberto Bolaño
The Savage Detectives (1998) by Roberto Bolaño
A Heart So White (1992) by Javier Marias
Tomorrow in the Battle Think on Me (1994) by Javier Marias
Your Face Tomorrow Trilogy (2002-2007) by Javier Marias
A Tale of Two Cities (1859) by Charles Dickens
Invisible Cities (1972) by Italo Calvino
Cinnamon Shops (1934) by Bruno Schulz
The Conformist (1951) by Alberto Moravia
Lolita (1955) by Vladimir Nabokov
The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2007) by Mohsin Hamid
The Shipping News (1993) by Annie Proulx
The Magic Mountain (1924) by Thomas Mann
100 Years of Solitude (1967) by Gabriel Garcia Marquez    [my review]
The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis (1984) by Jose Saramago
Murphy (1938) by Samuel Beckett
Waiting for Godot (1952) by Samuel Beckett
Death of a Travelling Salesman (1936) by Eudora Welty
Giovanni’s Room (1956) by James Baldwin
Corydon (1924) by Andre Gide
Sepharad (2001) by Antonio Muñoz Molina
Sophie’s Choice (1979) by William Styron
Nightwood (1936) by Djuna Barnes
The Leopard (1957) by Guiseppe Lampedusa
Kaddish for an Unborn Child (1990) by Imre Kertész
Fatelessness (1975) by Imre Kertész
Crime & Punishment ((1866) by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The Brothers Karamozov (1880) by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Madame Bovary (1856) by Gustave Flaubert
The Waves (1931) by Virginia Woolf
Mrs Dalloway (1925) by Virginia Woolf
Anna Karenina (1877) by Leo Tolstoy
The Book of Disquiet (1888-1935) by Fernando Pessoa
The Fall (1956) by Albert Camus
The French Lieutenant’s Woman (1969) by John Fowles
Metamorphosis (1915) by Franz Kafka   [my review]
The English Patient (1992) by Michael Ondaatje
Dubliners (1914) by James Joyce
Herzog (1964) by Saul Bellow
Hills like White Elephants (1927) by Ernest Hemingway
For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940) by Ernest Hemingway
The Encyclopaedia of the Dead (1983) by Danilo Kiš
Ransom (2009) by David Malouf
The Colour Purple (1982) by Alice Walker
This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen (1947) by Tadeusz Borowski
Alice in Wonderland (1865) by Lewis Carroll
The Vanity of Human Wishes (1749) by Samuel Johnson
Flight Without End (1927) by Joseph Roth
Hunger (1890) by Knut Hamsun
A Book of Memories (1986) by Péter Nádas
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961) by Muriel Spark
A House for Mr Biswas (1961) by V S Naipaul
Midnight’s Children (1981) by Salman Rushdie
Waiting for the Barbarians (1980) by J M Coetzee


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