Scotland Study Abroad at the Scottish Universities International Summer School in Edinburgh

Scottish Universities' International Summer School Reading List

The following books constitute the core texts, which form the basis of the academic work of the 2014 School. Students are strongly advised to read as many of the texts as possible before arriving in Edinburgh as time will be limited once the program is underway.

Notes: Students need not purchase copies of the volumes of poetry - poems will be distributed by tutors in seminars.

This list reflects the 2014 SUISS curriculum. Reading lists are subject to change from year to year. 

Instructions for the Preliminary Course Form: 
  • Course Code: Please use "SUISS XX" for your course code for all sections.
  • Title: Please use the course name (e.g. Modernism)
  • Session: Please use the term number associated with your course (e.g. for Modernism, use "1")
  • Credits: Please use the number of credits displayed for the appropriate course below.

Students may take any individual course below, or may elect to take the following combination of courses:

  • Combination 1: Modernism and Scottish Literature
  • Combination 2: Modernism, Scottish Literature and Contemporary Literature
  • Combination 3: Scottish Literature and Contemporary Literature
  • Combination 4: Creative Writing and Contemporary Literature

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Term I: Modernism (2.5 credits)

  • John Buchan, The Thirty-Nine Steps
  • Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
  • T. S. Eliot, The Wasteland
  • E. M. Forster, A Passage to India
  • Aldous Huxley, A Brave New World
  • James Joyce, Dubliners
  • George Orwell, 1984
  • Jean Rhys, Good Morning, Midnight
  • Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
  • W. B. Yeats, Purgatory and selected poetry; suggested edition W. B. Yeats: The Major Works [Edward Larrisy, ed.])

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Term II: Scottish Literature (2.5 credits)

  • Gregory Burke, Black Watch
  • Lewis Grassic Gibbon, Sunset Song
  • Alasdair Gray, Poor Things
  • James Kelman, Greyhound for Breakfast
  • Alice Thompson, Burnt Island
  • Liz Lochhead, Mary Queen of Scots Got Her Head Chopped Off
  • Hugh MacDiarmid, Selected Poetry
  • John McGrath, The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black, Black Oil
  • Edwin Morgan, New Selected Poetry
  • Donny O’Rourke [Ed.], Dream State: The New Scottish Poets, 2nd Ed.
  • Muriel Spark, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and The Driver's Seat
  • James Robertson, The Testament of Gideon Mack

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Term III: Contemporary Literature (2.5 credits)

  • Samuel Beckett, Endgame and selected works
  • Angela Carter, Bloody Chamber and Other Stories
  • A. S. Byatt, The Children's Book
  • Sarah Kane, Blasted
  • David Grieg, Europe
  • Hanif Kureishi, The Buddha of Suburbia
  • Don Paterson and Charles Simic [Eds.], New British Poetry
  • A. L. Kennedy, What Becomes
  • Zadie Smith, On Beauty
  • Colm Tóibín, The Blackwater Lightship
  • Poems of the Decade: An Anthology of the Forward Books of Poetry 2002-2011

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Creative Writing (4 credits)

Students attending the Creative Writing course are strongly recommended to read as many of the Modernism and Scottish Literature texts are possible, in particular the novels, before coming to Edinburgh, as they will also be attending Modernism and Scottish Literature lectures and events. While this preparatory reading is very important, Creative Writing students are not required to bring these texts with them to Scotland.

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