20th Century in Literature - World War II

World War II

Further information: 1940s literature


  • Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler (Hungary, England)
  • The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov - published in English 1966
  • For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
  • The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
  • Native Son by Richard Wright (USA, France)
  • The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers (USA)
  • Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog by Dylan Thomas
  • Owen Glendower by John Cowper Powys
  • You Can't Go Home Again by Thomas Wolfe
  • The Quiet Don by Mikhail Sholokhov (Russia) - two volumes, first published in 1934

Genre fiction

  • Journey into Fear by Eric Ambler (England)
  • Farewell My Lovely by Raymond Chandler


  • The Iceman Cometh by Eugene O'Neill


  • To the Finland Station by Edmund Wilson


  • Hangover Square by Patrick Hamilton
  • Reflections in a Golden Eye by Carson McCullers
  • The Third Policeman by Flan O'Brien

Genre fiction

  • Mildred Pierce by James M. Cain



  • The Stranger by Albert Camus (Algeria, France)
  • Our Lady of the Flowers by Jean Genet (France)
  • Flight to Arras by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry


  • The Flies by Jean-Paul Sartre


  • Arrival and Departure by Arthur Koestler
  • The Ministry of Fear by Graham Greene
  • The Man Without Qualities by Robert Musil (Austria) - trilogy, first volume published 1930

Genre fiction

  • Double Indemnity by James M. Cain
  • The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (France)


  • Selected Poems by Keith Douglas (England)


  • Being and Nothingness by Jean-Paul Sartre
  • The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus


  • The Horse's Mouth by Joyce Cary
  • Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges (Argentina) - short stories
  • The Razor's Edge by Somerset Maugham
  • Time Must Have a Stop by Aldous Huxley


  • The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams (USA)


  • Animal Farm by George Orwell
  • Watt by Samuel Beckett - published in 1953
  • Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
  • Black Boy by Richard Wright
  • Lark Rise to Candleford by Flora Thompson (England) - trilogy, first volume in 1939

Genre fiction

  • If He Hollers Let Him Go by Chester Himes (USA, France)
  • The Space Trilogy by C. S. Lewis (N Ireland) - first volume published in 1938


  • Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton (South Africa)
  • The Miracle of the Rose by Jean Genet
  • Froth on the Daydream by Boris Vian (France)
  • The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers


  • Deaths and Entrances by Dylan Thomas


  • The Winslow Boy by Terence Rattigan (England)


  • Alamein to Zem Zem by Keith Douglas
  • Memoirs of Hecate County by Edmund Wilson


  • The Plague by Albert Camus
  • Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry (England, Canada)
  • Bend Sinister by Vladimir Nabokov
  • The Victim by Saul Bellow (Canada, USA)
  • The Conformist by Alberto Moravia (Italy)
  • The Middle of the Journey by Lionel Trilling (USA)
  • Slaves of Solitude by Patrick Hamilton
  • Of Love and Hunger by Julian MacLaren-Ross (England)
  • Funeral Rites by Jean Genet
  • Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata


  • A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams


  • Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank (Netherlands)


  • The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer (USA)
  • Confessions of a Mask by 'Yukio Mishima' (Japan)
  • The Heart of the Matter by Graham Greene
  • The City and the Pillar by Gore Vidal (USA)
  • Ape and Essence by Aldous Huxley
  • Querelle of Brest by Jean Genet

Genre fiction

  • No Orchids for Miss Blandish by James Hadley Chase (England)


  • The Browning Version by Terence Rattigan


  • The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir (France — early feminist study


  • Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
  • Roads to Freedom by Jean-Paul Sartre - trilogy, first volume published 1945
  • The Thief's Journal by Jean Genet
  • The Man with the Golden Arm by Nelson Algren (USA)
  • The Train Was on Time by Heinrich Böll (Germany)
  • The Aleph by Jorge Luis Borges
  • The Kingdom of this World by Alejo Carpentier (Mexico)
  • The Heat of the Day by Elizabeth Bowen

Genre fiction

  • The Trouble with Harry by Jack Trevor Story (England)
  • The Mating Season by PG Wodehouse


  • Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller (USA)

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Famous quotes containing the words world war, world and/or war:

    During the first World War women in the United States had a chance to try their capacities in wider fields of executive leadership in industry. Must we always wait for war to give us opportunity? And must the pendulum always swing back in the busy world of work and workers during times of peace?
    Mary Barnett Gilson (1877–?)

    Nothing else in the world smells like that.... I love the smell of napalm in the morning.... It smells like victory.
    Francis Ford Coppola (b. 1939)

    We are at war with the most dangerous enemy that has ever faced mankind in his long climb from the swamp to the stars, and it has been said if we lose that war, and in so doing lose this way of freedom of ours, history will record with the greatest astonishment that those who had the most to lose did the least to prevent its happening.
    Ronald Reagan (b. 1911)