This course focuses on seeing the world through non-western eyes. Students will read novels by internationally recognized authors from India, Chile, China, Lebanon, and beyond. Lessons continue to explore culture and worldviews, as well as character development, style, irony, setting, political fiction, satire, conflict, writing about history, and expository writing: descriptive, narrative, explanatory, and persuasive.
The student reads in the following order:
- R. K. Narayan (India) (short stories: Malgudi Days)
- Short Stories of India (short stories selected from Other Voices, Other Vistas)
- Isabel Allende (Chile) (memoir: My Invented Country)
- Short Stories of Latin America and Japan (short stories selected from Other Voices, Other Vistas)
- Adeline Yen Mah (China) (memoir: A Thousand Pieces of Gold)
- Short Stories of China (short stories selected from Other Voices, Other Vistas)
- Amin Maalouf (Lebanon) (essay: In the Name of Identity)
- Stories of Africa (short stories selected from Other Voices, Other Vistas)
Each unit includes comprehension notes and questions; historical, cultural, and literary background notes; writing exercises; and discussion questions. The Student’s Guide also includes project suggestions; additional reading lists; semester, full-year, geography-coordinated schedules; and a bibliography. The answers to the comprehension questions are in the Teacher’s Guide. Book-length works are sold separately and in a pack with the guides.
World Literature I is a prerequisite for World Literature II. Students with some cross-cultural experience could use this in grades 9 and 10. This course is especially recommended for students who have completed World Literature I, juniors and seniors, students interested in literature beyond that of Europe and America, students interested in cultural issues in literature, and students studying modern world history. These should not be viewed as restrictions; this course can profitably be used by high-school students of any grade regardless of which previous Lightning Literature courses they have completed. Generally speaking, this course is more difficult than the two American Literature courses, Speech, and the two nineteenth-century British Literature courses, and about the same as British Christian Literature. Much depends on student interest in the material, however.