Bildungsroman (37 books)

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The Bildungsroman is a genre of the novel which focuses on the psychological and moral growth of the protagonist from youth to adulthood. Change is thus extremely important. The genre is further characterized by a number of formal, topical and thematic features. The term coming-of-age novel is sometimes used interchangeably with Bildungsroman, but its use is usually wider and less technical.

 

The History of Tom Jones, A Foundling

by Henry Fielding

Tom Jones is a foundling discovered on the property of a very kind, wealthy landowner, Squire Allworthy, in Somerset in England's West Country. Tom grows into a vigorous and lusty, yet honest and kind-hearted,...

Candide

by Voltaire

Candide, ou l'Optimisme (1759) is a French satire by the Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire, English translations of which have been titled Candide: Or, All for the Best (1759); Candide: Or, The Optimist (1762);...

The Sorrows of Young Werther

by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The Sorrows of Young Werther (Die Leiden des jungen Werthers) is an epistolary and loosely autobiographical novel by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, first published in 1774; a revised edition of the novel was published...

Swiss Family Robinson

by Johann David Wyss

"Swiss Family Robinson" is the classic tale of a Swiss pastor, his wife and their four sons who find themselves shipwrecked on an isolated tropical island. Along with a couple of dogs, some livestock, pigeons...

Jane Eyre

by Charlotte Brontë

Jane Eyre, the story of a young girl and her passage into adulthood, was an immediate commercial success at the time of its original publication in 1847. Its representation of the underside of domestic life...

David Copperfield

by Charles Dickens

David Copperfield is the novel that draws most closely from Charles Dickens's own life. Its eponymous hero, orphaned as a boy, grows up to discover love and happiness, heartbreak and sorrow amid a cast of eccentrics,...

The Coral Island

by Robert Michael Ballantyne

Three boys, fifteen-year-old Ralph Rover (the narrator), eighteen-year-old Jack Martin and fourteen-year-old Peterkin Gay, are the sole survivors of a shipwreck on the coral reef of a large but uninhabited Polynesian...

Great Expectations

by Charles Dickens

Great Expectations is a novel by Charles Dickens first serialised in All the Year Round from 1 December 1860 to August 1861. It is regarded as one of his greatest and most sophisticated novels, and is one of...

Les Misérables

by Victor Hugo

Les Misérables (1862) is a novel by French author Victor Hugo, and among the best-known novels of the 19th century. It follows the lives and interactions of several French characters over a twenty year period...

Treasure Island

by Robert Louis Stevenson

While going through the possessions of a deceased guest who owed them money, the mistress of the inn and her son find a treasure map that leads them to a pirate's fortune.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

by Mark Twain

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (often shortened to Huck Finn) is a novel written by American humorist Mark Twain. It is commonly used and accounted as one of the first Great American Novels. It is also one of...

Kidnapped

by Robert Louis Stevenson

Being memoirs of the adventures of David Balfour in the year 1751: how he was kidnapped and cast away; his sufferings in a desert isle; his journey in the wild highlands; his acquaintance with Alan Breck Stewart...

The Picture of Dorian Gray

by Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde's story of a fashionable young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty is one of his most popular works. Written in Wilde's characteristically dazzling manner, full of stinging epigrams...

The Red Badge of Courage

by Stephen Crane

The Red Badge of Courage is an 1895 war novel by American author Stephen Crane. It is considered one of the most influential works in American literature. The novel, a depiction on the cruelty of the American...

Captains Courageous

by Rudyard Kipling

The adventures of Harvey Chaney Jr., an arrogant and spoiled son of a railroad tycoon. Washed overboard from a transatlantic steamship and rescued by fishermen on the Grand Banks, Harvey cannot persuade them...

Anne of Green Gables

Anne Shirley Series #1

by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Marilla Cuthbert and Matthew Cuthbert, middle-aged siblings who live together at Green Gables, a farm in Avonlea, on Prince Edward Island, decide to adopt a boy from an orphan asylum in Nova Scotia as a helper...

A Room with a View

by E. M. Forster

This Edwardian social comedy explores love and prim propriety among an eccentric cast of characters assembled in an Italian pensione and in a corner of Surrey, England.A charming young Englishwoman, Lucy Honeychurch,...

Martin Eden

by Jack London

Martin Eden (1909) is a novel by American author Jack London, about a struggling young writer. This book is a favorite among writers, who relate to Martin Eden's speculation that when he mailed off a manuscript,...

Sons and Lovers

by David Herbert Lawrence

The third published novel of D. H. Lawrence, taken by many to be his earliest masterpiece, tells the story of Paul Morel, a young man and budding artist. Richard Aldington explains the semi-autobiographical...

Of Human Bondage

by W. Somerset Maugham

From an orphan with a clubfoot, Philip Carey grows into an impressionable young man with a voracious appetite for adventure and knowledge. Then he falls obsessively in love, embarking on a disastrous relationship...

The Song of the Lark

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

by James Joyce

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is a semi-autobiographical novel by James Joyce, first serialized in The Egoist from 1914 to 1915 and published in book form in 1916. It depicts the formative years in...

This Side of Paradise

by Francis Scott Fitzgerald

Published in 1920, and taking its title from a line of the Rupert Brooke poem Tiare Tahiti, the book examines the lives and morality of post-World War I youth. Its protagonist, Amory Blaine, is an attractive...

Siddhartha

by Hermann Hesse

Siddhartha is an allegorical novel by Hermann Hesse which deals with the spiritual journey of an Indian boy called Siddhartha during the time of the Buddha. The book, Hesse's ninth novel, was written in German,...

The Great Gatsby

by Francis Scott Fitzgerald

In 1922, F. Scott Fitzgerald announced his decision to write "something new--something extraordinary and beautiful and simple + intricately patterned." That extraordinary, beautiful, intricately patterned, and...

Atonement: A Novel

National Book Critics Circle for Fiction 2002, Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction 2002

by Ian Mcewan

The novel opens on a sweltering summer day in 1935 at the Tallis family’s mansion in the Surrey countryside. Thirteen-year-old Briony has written a play in honor of the visit of her adored older brother Leon;...


The Diamond Age

The Icarus Girl

by Helen Oyeyemi

Jessamy “Jess” Harrison, age eight, is the child of an English father and a Nigerian mother. Possessed of an extraordinary imagination, she has a hard time fitting in at school. It is only when she visits...


Before We Were Free

by Julia Alvarez

Anita de la Torre never questioned her freedom living in the Dominican Republic. But by her 12th birthday in 1960, most of her relatives have emigrated to the United States, her Tío Toni has disappeared without...


Sister of My Heart: A Novel

by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

From the award-winning author of Mistress of Spices, the bestselling novel about the extraordinary bond between two women, and the family secrets and romantic jealousies that threaten to tear them apart.

Anju...


Shades of Grey: A Novel

by Jasper Fforde

The New York Times bestseller and "a rich brew of dystopic fantasy and deadpan goofiness" (The Washington Post)

Welcome to Chromatacia, where the societal hierarchy is strictly regulated by one's limited color...


Emile: Or, On Education

by Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Rousseau wrote about the difficulty of being a good individual within an inherently corrupting collectivity: society. Emile deals specifically with education, and outlines a system which would allow for human...


My Name Is Asher Lev

by Chaim Potok

"Memorable...A book profound in its vision of humanity, of religion, and of art."

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Here is the original, deeply moving story of Asher Lev, the religious boy with an overwhelming need to...


Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children: Adapted for the Theatre by Salman Rushdie, Simon Reade and Tim Supple

by Salman Rushdie

The original stage adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children, winner of the 1993 Booker of Bookers, the best book to win the Booker Prize in its first twenty-five years.

In the moments of upheaval...


English: A Novel

by Wang Gang

"I loved this book and can't stop talking about it. . . Transcendent." -Carolyn See, The Washington Post

In the tradition of Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, Wang Gang's English is a captivating coming-of-...


Finny: A Novel

by Justin Kramon

Justin Kramon’s debut novel, Finny, is a sweeping, enchanting voyage, an insightful story about a young woman’s complicated path to adulthood.

 

We meet Finny Short as an observant, defiant fourteen-year-old...


The Invisible Circus

by Jennifer Egan

In Jennifer Egan’s highly acclaimed first novel, set in 1978, the political drama and familial tensions of the 1960s form a backdrop for the world of Phoebe O’Connor, age eighteen. Phoebe is obsessed with...


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