Bokklubben World Library

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Bokklubben World Library (Norwegian: Verdensbiblioteket) is a series of classical books, mostly novels, published by the Norwegian Book Club [no] since 2002. It is based on a list of the hundred best books, as proposed by one hundred writers from fifty-four countries, compiled and organized in 2002 by the Book Club. This list endeavors to reflect world literature, with books from all countries, cultures, and time periods.

Each writer had to select his or her own list of ten books. The books selected by this process and listed here are not ranked or categorized in any way; the organizers have stated that "they are all on an equal footing," with the exception of Don Quixote which was given the distinction "best literary work ever written."[1]

Fyodor Dostoevsky is the author with the most books on the list, with four. William Shakespeare, Franz Kafka, and Leo Tolstoy each have three.

Breakdown of voters and list[edit]

The writers surveyed included 69 men and 31 women. 85 of the books included on the list are written by men, 11 are written by women, and four have unknown authors. 26 of the 100 voting writers had English as their first language,[2] which may be a factor in the list having so many (29) books written in English.

List of books[edit]

Title Author Year Country Language
Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe 1958 Nigeria English
Fairy tales Hans Christian Andersen 1835–37 Denmark Danish
The Divine Comedy Dante Alighieri 1308–21 Italy Italian
Epic of Gilgamesh Unknown 18th – 17th century BCE Sumer / Akkadian Empire Akkadian
Book of Job Unknown 7th – 4th century BCE Achaemenid Empire Biblical Hebrew
One Thousand and One Nights Various 700–1500 Iraq/Iran/India/Syria/Egypt/Tajikistan Arabic
Njál's Saga Unknown, possibly Sæmundr fróði 13th century Iceland Old Norse
Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen 1813 United Kingdom English
Le Père Goriot Honoré de Balzac 1835 France French
Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable, a trilogy Samuel Beckett 1951–53 Republic of Ireland French, English
The Decameron Giovanni Boccaccio 1349–53 Italy Italian
Ficciones Jorge Luis Borges 1944–86 Argentina Spanish
Wuthering Heights Emily Brontë 1847 United Kingdom English
The Stranger Albert Camus 1942 Algeria, French Empire French
Poems Paul Celan 1952 Romania, USSR, France German
Journey to the End of the Night Louis-Ferdinand Céline 1932 France French
Don Quixote Miguel de Cervantes 1605 (part 1), 1615 (part 2) Spain Spanish
The Canterbury Tales Geoffrey Chaucer 1380s–1400 England English
Stories Anton Chekhov 1886 Russia Russian
Nostromo Joseph Conrad 1904 United Kingdom English
Great Expectations Charles Dickens 1861 United Kingdom English
Jacques the Fatalist Denis Diderot 1796 France French
Berlin Alexanderplatz Alfred Döblin 1929 Germany German
Crime and Punishment Fyodor Dostoevsky 1866 Russia Russian
The Idiot Fyodor Dostoevsky 1869 Russia Russian
Demons Fyodor Dostoevsky 1872 Russia Russian
The Brothers Karamazov Fyodor Dostoevsky 1880 Russia Russian
Middlemarch George Eliot 1871 United Kingdom English
Invisible Man Ralph Ellison 1952 United States English
Medea Euripides 431 BCE Greece Greek
Absalom, Absalom! William Faulkner 1936 United States English
The Sound and the Fury William Faulkner 1929 United States English
Madame Bovary Gustave Flaubert 1857 France French
Sentimental Education Gustave Flaubert 1869 France French
Gypsy Ballads Federico García Lorca 1928 Spain Spanish
One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel García Márquez 1967 Colombia Spanish
Love in the Time of Cholera Gabriel García Márquez 1985 Colombia Spanish
Faust Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 1832 Saxe-Weimar German
Dead Souls Nikolai Gogol 1842 Russia Russian
The Tin Drum Günter Grass 1959 Germany German
The Devil to Pay in the Backlands João Guimarães Rosa 1956 Brazil Portuguese
Hunger Knut Hamsun 1890 Norway Norwegian
The Old Man and the Sea Ernest Hemingway 1952 United States English
Iliad Homer 760–710 BCE Greece Greek
Odyssey Homer 8th century BCE Greece Greek
A Doll's House Henrik Ibsen 1879 Norway Norwegian
Ulysses James Joyce 1922 Irish Free State English
Stories Franz Kafka 1924 Czechoslovakia German
The Trial Franz Kafka 1925 Czechoslovakia German
The Castle Franz Kafka 1926 Czechoslovakia German
Shakuntala Kālidāsa 1st century BCE – 4th century CE India Sanskrit
The Sound of the Mountain Yasunari Kawabata 1954 Japan Japanese
Zorba the Greek Nikos Kazantzakis 1946 Greece Greek
Sons and Lovers D. H. Lawrence 1913 United Kingdom English
Independent People Halldór Laxness 1934–35 Iceland Icelandic
Canti Giacomo Leopardi 1835 Italy Italian
The Golden Notebook Doris Lessing 1962 United Kingdom English
Pippi Longstocking Astrid Lindgren 1945 Sweden Swedish
"Diary of a Madman" Lu Xun 1918 China Chinese
Children of Gebelawi Naguib Mahfouz 1959 Egypt Arabic
Buddenbrooks Thomas Mann 1901 Germany German
The Magic Mountain Thomas Mann 1924 Germany German
Moby-Dick Herman Melville 1851 United States English
Essays Michel de Montaigne 1595 France French
History Elsa Morante 1974 Italy Italian
Beloved Toni Morrison 1987 United States English
The Tale of Genji Murasaki Shikibu 1000–12 Japan Japanese
The Man Without Qualities Robert Musil 1930–32 Austria German
Lolita Vladimir Nabokov 1955 Russia/United States English
Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell 1949 United Kingdom English
Metamorphoses Ovid 1st century CE Roman Empire Classical Latin
The Book of Disquiet Fernando Pessoa 1928 Portugal Portuguese
Tales Edgar Allan Poe 1832–49 United States English
In Search of Lost Time Marcel Proust 1913–27 France French
Gargantua and Pantagruel François Rabelais 1532–34 France French
Pedro Páramo Juan Rulfo 1955 Mexico Spanish
Masnavi Rumi 1258–73 Sultanate of Rum (Persia) Persian
Midnight's Children Salman Rushdie 1981 United Kingdom, India English
Bostan Saadi 1257 Persia Persian
Season of Migration to the North Tayeb Salih 1966 Sudan Arabic
Blindness José Saramago 1995 Portugal Portuguese
Hamlet William Shakespeare 1603 England English
King Lear William Shakespeare 1608 England English
Othello William Shakespeare 1609 England English
Oedipus the King Sophocles 430 BCE Greece Greek
The Red and the Black Stendhal 1830 France French
Tristram Shandy Laurence Sterne 1760 Ireland English
Confessions of Zeno Italo Svevo 1923 Italy Italian
Gulliver's Travels Jonathan Swift 1726 Ireland English
War and Peace Leo Tolstoy 1865–69 Russia Russian
Anna Karenina Leo Tolstoy 1877 Russia Russian
The Death of Ivan Ilyich Leo Tolstoy 1886 Russia Russian
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Mark Twain 1884 United States English
Ramayana Valmiki 5th – 4th century BCE India Sanskrit
Aeneid Virgil 29–19 BCE Roman Empire Classical Latin
Mahabharata Vyasa 9th – 5th century BCE India Sanskrit
Leaves of Grass Walt Whitman 1855 United States English
Mrs Dalloway Virginia Woolf 1925 United Kingdom English
To the Lighthouse Virginia Woolf 1927 United Kingdom English
Memoirs of Hadrian Marguerite Yourcenar 1951 France/Belgium French

List of authors surveyed[edit]

Name Country
Chinghiz Aitmatov Kyrgyzstan
Ahmet Altan Turkey
Aharon Appelfeld Israel
Paul Auster United States
Félix de Azúa Spain
Julian Barnes United Kingdom
Simin Behbahani Iran
Robert Bly United States
André Brink South Africa
Suzanne Brøgger Denmark
A. S. Byatt United Kingdom
Peter Carey Australia
Martha Cerda Mexico
Jung Chang China/United Kingdom
Maryse Condé France
Mia Couto Mozambique
Jim Crace United Kingdom
Edwidge Danticat Haiti
Bei Dao China
Assia Djebar Algeria
Mahmoud Dowlatabadi Iran
Jean Echenoz France
Kerstin Ekman Sweden
Nathan Englander United States
Hans Magnus Enzensberger Germany
Emilio Estévez Cuba
Nuruddin Farah Somalia
Kjartan Fløgstad Norway
Jon Fosse Norway
Janet Frame New Zealand
Marilyn French United States
Carlos Fuentes Mexico
Izzat Ghazzawi Palestine
Amitav Ghosh India
Pere Gimferrer Spain
Nadine Gordimer South Africa
David Grossman Israel
Einar Már Guðmundsson Iceland
Seamus Heaney Ireland
Christoph Hein Germany
Aleksandar Hemon Bosnia-Herzegovina
Alice Hoffman United States
Chenjerai Hove Zimbabwe
Sonallah Ibrahim Egypt
John Irving United States
P. C. Jersild Sweden
Yasar Kemal Turkey
Jan Kjærstad Norway
Milan Kundera Czech Republic/France
Leena Lander Finland
John le Carré United Kingdom
Siegfried Lenz Germany
Doris Lessing United Kingdom
Astrid Lindgren Sweden
Viivi Luik Estonia
Amin Maalouf Lebanon/France
Claudio Magris Italy
Norman Mailer United States
Tomás Eloy Martínez Argentina
Frank McCourt Ireland/United States
Gita Mehta India
Ana Miranda Brazil
Rohinton Mistry India/Canada
Abdel Rahman Munif Saudi Arabia
Herta Müller Romania
V. S. Naipaul Trinidad/United Kingdom
Cees Nooteboom Netherlands
Ben Okri Nigeria/United Kingdom
Orhan Pamuk Turkey
Sara Paretsky United States
Jayne Anne Phillips United States
Valentin Rasputin Russia
João Ubaldo Ribeiro Brazil
Alain Robbe-Grillet France
Salman Rushdie India/United Kingdom
Nawal El Saadawi Egypt
Hanan al-Shaykh Lebanon
Nihad Sirees Syria
Göran Sonnevi Sweden
Susan Sontag United States
Wole Soyinka Nigeria
Gerold Späth Switzerland
Graham Swift United Kingdom
Antonio Tabucchi Italy
Fouad al-Tikerly Iraq
D. M. Thomas United Kingdom
Adam Thorpe United Kingdom
Kirsten Thorup Denmark
Aleksandr Tkachenko Russia
Pramoedya Ananta Toer Indonesia
Olga Tokarczuk Poland
Michel Tournier France
Jean-Philippe Toussaint Belgium
Mehmed Uzun Turkey
Nils-Aslak Valkeapää Sápmi
Vassilis Vassilikos Greece
Yvonne Vera Zimbabwe
Fay Weldon United Kingdom
Christa Wolf Germany
A. B. Yehoshua Israel
Spôjmaï Zariâb Afghanistan

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Les 100 meilleurs livres de tous les temps". Retrieved 4 November 2010.
  2. ^ See table in article. 22 come from Ireland, UK, US, and Trinidad and Tobago; four come from India but are all from the minority of Indians with English as their primary language.

External links[edit]