The Norton Anthology of Western Literature

Martin Puchner (General Editor, Harvard University)
Suzanne Conklin Akbari (Editor, University of Toronto)
Wiebke Denecke (Editor, Boston University)
Barbara Fuchs (Editor, University of California-Los Angeles)
Caroline Levine (Editor, University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Pericles Lewis (Editor, Yale University)
Emily Wilson (Editor, University of Pennsylvania)


Led by Martin Puchner of Harvard University, the new editorial team is both respectful of the venerable history of “the Norton” and eager to help it evolve to suit the needs of the twenty-first-century literature classroom. For help in selecting the best texts and translations and revising the editorial apparatus for the twenty-first-century classroom, the editors solicited advice from more than 500 world literature instructors. The result is the most teachable and contemporary approach to western literature on the market.

Every section of the anthology contains new and interesting selections, while retaining the most-often-taught works from editions past. New translations have been chosen wherever doing so might help bring the work to more vibrant life for students or make teaching the work easier for instructors. Some exciting additions include: a fresh approach to the Hebrew Bible, including Robert Alter’s translations of Genesis and Job, and a brief portion of the Jacob story told through R. Crumb’s graphic rendering; Stanley Lombardo’s translations of the Odyssey and Iliad; Simon Armitage’s translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; a new translation of Molière’s Tartuffe; and much more.

Among the authors new to the Ninth Edition (2014) are Seamus Heaney, V. S. Naipaul, Ngugi Wa Thiong’o, Bessie Head, Jamaica Kincaid, Toni Morrison, Isabel Allende, Junot Díaz, Roberto Bolaño, and J. M. Coetzee.

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