More novels published in the 1990s are being studied at school

13 January 2023

The Great Gatsby, To Kill a Mockingbird, Lord of the Flies, Catcher in the Rye, and Vanity Fair, are among books commonly studied in high school. Despite their undoubted literary merit, many of these titles were published decades — and in some cases — centuries, ago. But things are changing, and now books written in the nineteen-nineties are beginning to make an appearance.

In the U.S. at least, according to research by The Pudding. The Things They Carried, written by Tim O’Brien in 1990, Woman Hollering Creek, by Sandra Cisneros from 1991, and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (also known as Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone), by J.K. Rowling, and published in 1997, are among relatively recent additions to some school reading lists.

Despite the presence of Harry Potter books though, not all inclusions were particularly popular commercially. Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies, a collection of short stories published in 1999, did not chart on the New York Times Best Seller list, and barely makes the top ten-thousand frequently read books list on Goodreads. Lahiri’s work did however win a number of literary awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2000.


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