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1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die
(ISBN 0-7893-1370-7) is a literary reference book compiled by over one hundred literary critics worldwide and edited by Peter Boxall, Professor of English at Sussex University, with an introduction by Peter Ackroyd
Peter Ackroyd CBE is an English biographer, novelist and critic with a particular interest in the history and culture of London. For his novels about English history and culture and his biographies of, among others, Charles Dickens, T. S. Eliot and Sir Thomas More he won the Somerset Maugham Award...
. Each title is accompanied by a brief synopsis and critique briefly explaining why the book was chosen. Some entries have illustrations. This book is part of a series from Quintessence Editions Ltd.
Quintessence Editions Ltd. is a publishing company based in London which is the originator of the "1001 Before You Die" series. Typically, the titles in this series are intended as reference books. They are illustrated books authored by multiple contributors...
The list contains 1001 titles and is made up of novels, short stories, and short story collections. There is also one pamphlet (A Modest Proposal
A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland From Being a Burden on Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Publick, commonly referred to as A Modest Proposal, is a Juvenalian satirical essay written and published anonymously by Jonathan Swift in...
), one book of collected text (Adjunct: An Undigest
), and one graphic novel (Watchmen
Watchmen is a twelve-issue comic book limited series created by writer Alan Moore, artist Dave Gibbons, and colourist John Higgins. The series was published by DC Comics during 1986 and 1987, and has been subsequently reprinted in collected form...
). The most featured authors on the list are J. M. Coetzee and Charles Dickens
Charles John Huffam Dickens was an English novelist, generally considered the greatest of the Victorian period. Dickens enjoyed a wider popularity and fame than had any previous author during his lifetime, and he remains popular, having been responsible for some of English literature's most iconic...
with ten titles each. The book has been revised and updated March 23, 2010. The revised edition contains a less English-centric list.