How can faculty and librarians drive student research that incorporates diversity, equity, and inclusive perspectives? Encourage learners to explore international literary fiction.

Literature is meant to showcase the experience of being human. International literature helps expand representation to include voices spanning a variety of cultures, ethnicities, nationalities, races, and more. The publication and study of international literature help disseminate stories of the human experience from a variety of perspectives around the world.

Gale provides resources to expand the global potential of research and critical thinking for learners. Gale Literature Resource Center supports the study of classic and contemporary international authors with a vast array of literary criticisms, primary sources, academic journals, biographies, and more sources showcasing international writers.


    The Evolution of International Literature

    The study of international literature has traditionally focused on English classics in the United States. In the mid-twentieth century, studies of English-language writing published in non-Western countries became more common. Today, international literature also includes translations of foreign language works of fiction and creative nonfiction.

    In the United States, international literature, or world literature, includes novels, short stories, plays, poetry, and other tales originally published outside of the U.S. and now distributed nationally.


    The Impact of International Publishing

    Reading and studying voices from other nations can help expand the worldviews of learners. Encourage your students to explore international literature and develop a greater understanding of the diverse voices and experiences of people across the globe. Reading widely enables students to learn about foreign societies, cultures, and historical events through international literature, literary reviews, and more using Gale Literature Resource Center

Gale Literature Resource Center Highlights

In Gale Literature Resource Center, researchers can find up-to-date analysis, biographical information, overviews, full-text literary criticism, original works of literature, and reviews on more than 160,000 writers in all disciplines, from all time periods, and from around the world.

  • The database includes more than 2,100,000 full-text articles, critical essays, and reviews from over 450 scholarly journals and literary magazines. 
  • Daily content updates provide researchers with the most-current critical approaches and interpretations of authors and works, book reviews, and more.
  • Coverage of a diverse range of writers with a broad array of disciplines, time periods, and backgrounds from around the world delivers a full picture of representation in literature.
  • Primary works in a variety of genres—from science fiction writers, essayists, poets, and others—support close reading and the gathering of textual evidence to provide ample opportunity for reader-response activities. 
  • Materials support interdisciplinary approaches to the humanities, information literacy, and the development of critical-thinking skills.
  • Current and comprehensive literature criticism, biographical information, reviews, and references promote deeper literary understanding.

Learn More

Featured Authors: International Literature

Among the thousands of primary sources, criticisms, and articles in Gale Literature Resource Center include works examining the following international authors:

  • Chinua Achebe
  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Dante Alighieri
  • Isabel Allende
  • Jane Austen
  • Miguel de Cervantes
  • Charles Dickens
  • Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • Mohsin Hamid
  • Khaled Hosseini
  • Victor Hugo
  • Anne Frank
  • James Joyce
  • Franz Kafka
  • Milan Kundera
  • Gabriel García Márquez
  • Haruki Murakami
  • Vladimir Nabokov
  • Viet Thanh Nguyen
  • George Orwell
  • Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  • Marjane Satrapi
  • William Shakespeare
  • Leo Tolstoy
  • Oscar Wilde

Want to explore all that Gale Literature Resource Center has to offer?

Learn More

Resource Spotlight:

From “The Problematic and Pragmatic Pedagogy of World Literature” (ariel; Vol. 46, Issue 1–2)

“Despite the field’s rise in relevance, a working definition of world literature remains elusive. Does the term encompass all literature in all languages, locations, and time periods? Although such a broad definition may seem purposefully hyperbolic and unrealistic, some scholars, such as Moretti, are intent on such a definition. (2) A more manageable definition selects literary masterpieces to create a world literature canon of significant texts or ‘great books.’ To complicate matters further, some understand world literature as a characteristic of postnationalist literature. Such a view limits the temporality of the field and treats as unique the decolonized period of world history. In this view, modern communication, technology, and commerce have created a hitherto unparalleled global connectedness, and this new, increasingly digital, kind of connectedness is the proper study of world literature. In stark contrast to studying all literature in all places and times, this view delimits the field to texts circulating internationally, which represent more than a single tradition. Salman Rushdie’s texts are a paragon of this model, as they attempt to float seamlessly between South Asian and English literary and cultural traditions. However, the Rushdie model begs the question that if world literature is only concerned with this kind of postnationalist multivalent literature, are there enough Rushdies to justify an entire field? A wider perspective—the most commonly accepted model of world literature—comes from Damrosch’s What is World Literature? He defines world literature as ‘all literary works that circulate beyond their culture of origin, either in translation or in their original language’ (9). For Damrosch, world literature is defined by the trajectory of a text from its original context to a foreign context. ‘World Literature is not an infinite, ungraspable canon of works,’ therefore, ‘but rather a mode of circulation and of reading’ (17). Movement and circulation are the defining characteristics that make a text global, so that a Laotian text that remains prominent only in Laos is not world literature, but one that circulates abroad would be. Despite a growing consensus toward Damrosch’s trajectory-based approach, these shared questions of scale persist in this newly manifesting field and no single method has risen to dominance. Indeed, it is this lack of standard definition that makes the study of world literature at once vibrant, malleable, slippery, and frustratingly intangible.”


Hodapp, James. “The Problematic and Pragmatic Pedagogy of World Literature.” ariel 46, no. 1–2 (2015): 69+. Gale Literature Resource Center, accessed September 30, 2022.