Narrative Reading Lists

Need a start? The Narrative Library offers thousands of stories, poems, and essays, free of charge. We invite you to gather inspiration by getting lost in our stacks.


Snapshots of My Brother” by Lynn Ahrens
Whale Shark” by Rick Bass
My Daughter and God” by Justin Cronin
Catching Out” by Charles D’Ambrosio
Sparrow” by Maria Hummel
The Lost Sister: An Elegy” by Joyce Carol Oates
Real People” by Jayne Anne Phillips
Blue Lake” by Laura Rose
At Lee” by Jack Schiff
Mysteries of Love and Grief” by Sandra Scofield


Hands” by Sherwood Anderson
The Woman in the Rose-Colored Dress” by Gina Berriault
Araby” by James Joyce
The Treatment of Bibi Halder” by Jhumpa Lahiri
Red Dress–1946” by Alice Munro
The Man Arguing in the Kitchen” by Gina Ochsner
Friday Night Fish Fry” by Austin Smith
In the Water” by Brenden Willey
Übermensch” by Tobias Wolff


Los Angeles” by Chris Abani
How to Be a Real Indian” by Kenzie Allen
How to Live in an American Town” by Jennifer Chang
night vision” and “it was a dream” by Lucille Clifton
Slow Dance” by Matthew Dickman
Weak Winter Sun” by Jim Harrison
English” by Yusef Komunyakaa
To the New Year” by W. S. Merwin
A Small Motor” by Alberto Álvaro Ríos
What We Have” by Ruth Stone
Trojan” by Ocean Vuong
Put This Book Down” by Javier Zamora
Poem for Americans” by Matthew Zapruder

Best Advice

Letters to a Young Writer” by Julianna Baggott
Letters to a Young Writer” by Richard Bausch
Letters to a Young Writer” by Ann Beattie
Letters to a Young Writer” by T. Coraghessan Boyle
Letters to a Young Writer” by Robert Olen Butler
Letters to a Young Writer” by Lan Samantha Chang
Letters to a Young Writer” by Carol Edgarian
Letters to a Young Writer” by Louis Menand

The Narrative in the Schools program is supported in part by:

Additional Information:

Welcome | For Teachers | For Students | “Tell Me a Story”
High School Contest
| Video Tutorials with Carol Edgarian