Narrative Reading List

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.


Dear America” by Scarlett Akeley
Whale Shark” by Rick Bass
My Daughter and God” by Justin Cronin
Sparrow” by Maria Hummel
Dear America” by Hugo Anaya de Jesus
The Lost Sister: An Elegy” by Joyce Carol Oates
At Lee” by Jack Schiff
Mysteries of Love and Grief” by Sandra Scofield


The Woman in the Rose-Colored Dress” by Gina Berriault
Devil’s Child” by Farnaz Fassihi
Vieques” by Kevin A. González
The Crossing Guard” by Sara Houghteling
Araby” by James Joyce
The Treatment of Bibi Halder” by Jhumpa Lahiri
Butterfly” by Vivian Ludford
Red Dress–1946” by Alice Munro
Friday Night Fish Fry” by Austin Smith
The Black Hole” by Patience Wallace
Übermensch” by Tobias Wolff


Los Angeles” by Chris Abani
Across the Sea: A Sequence” by Gbenga Adesina
How to Be a Real Indian” by Kenzie Allen
The Tradition” by Jericho Brown
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