Free Shipping on orders over $25

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $27.00
  • February 2016
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-62410-6
  • 576 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide including Canada, but excluding the British Commonwealth.

    Digital Product

Related Books

More Books

  1. Writing

The Little Norton Reader

50 Essays from the First 50 Years, with 2016 MLA Update


See all options and formats starting at

Melissa Goldthwaite (Editor, St. Joseph's University)



Commemorating 50 years of the The Norton Reader, in a portable and affordable format.

The Little Norton Reader presents 50 essays from the first 50 years of The Norton Reader, classics like the “Letter from Birmingham Jail” along with newer favorites such as “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” and “Fun Home.” Its small size makes it portable, and its low price makes it affordable.


An excellent collection of 50 essays by authors instructors love to assign

Includes classic (think Zora Neale Hurston, Joan Didion) and contemporary readings (David Foster Wallace, Lynda Barry), and brings back some old favorites (Gertrude Stein, Vertamae Smart-Grosvenor). A wide array of genres (memoirs, arguments, analyses, letters, journals, blogs, literacy narratives, reflections, op-eds, how-to essays, profiles, graphic memoirs, lyric essays) and themes (language, writing, technology, food, sports, race, the environment, identity, and more) will inspire students to read and write.  

Organized chronologically

The Little Norton Reader shows how the essay has developed over time, from a journal entry by Emerson to a to blog post by Dennis Baron, formal essays by George Orwell and Virginia Woolf to op-eds by Molly Ivins and Brent Staples, narrative memoirs by Maya Angelou and Chang-Rae Lee to a graphic memoir by Alison Bechdel. 

An album of writing by students

This feature provides models of four commonly assigned genres: an argument, a rhetorical analysis, a personal narrative, and a profile. 

4 indexes

The Little Norton Reader categorizes the readings by theme, genre, rhetorical mode, and thematic clusters, making it a book that will support various teaching approaches. 

Easy to bring to class

A small trim size makes it portable, and a low price makes it affordable: $25 net. 

    1840 Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Language of the Street
    1854 Henry David Thoreau, Observation
    1882 Mark Twain, Advice to Youth
    1928 Zora Neale Hurston, How It Feels to Be Colored Me
    1935 Gertrude Stein, Poetry and Grammar
    1936 George Orwell, Shooting an Elephant
    1940 Langston Hughes, Salvation
    1941 E. B. White, Once More to the Lake
    1942 Virginia Woolf, The Death of the Moth
    1949 Aldo Leopold, The Land Ethic
    1954 Dylan Thomas, Memories of Christmas
    1955 James Baldwin, Stranger in the Village
    1963 Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail
    1966 Joan Didion, On Keeping a Notebook
    1969 Maya Angelou, Champion of the World
    1970 Vertamae Smart-Grosvenor, The Kitchen Crisis
    1974 Annie Dillard, Sight into Insight
    1977 A. Bartlett Giamatti, The Green Fields of the Mind
    1979 William Zinsser, College Pressures
    1979 Lewis Thomas, Notes on Punctuation
    1982 D. Keith Mano, How to Keep from Getting Mugged
    1983 Alice Walker, Beauty: When the Other Dancer Is the Self
    1986 Brent Staples, Black Men and Public Space
    1986 Nancy Mairs, On Being a Cripple
    1987 Gloria Anzaldúa, How to Tame a Wild Tongue
    1989 Scott Russell Sanders, Under the Influence
    1989 Terry Tempest Williams, The Clan of One-Breasted Women
    1989 Maggie Helwig, Hunger
    1989 Garrison Keillor, How to Write a Letter and Postcards
    1990 Judith Ortiz Cofer, More Room
    1992 Lynda Barry, The Sanctuary of School
    1993 Molly Ivins, Get a Knife, Get a Dog, but Get Rid of Guns
    1993 Lars Eighner, On Dumpster Diving
    1994 Henry Louis Gates Jr., In the Kitchen
    1995 Chang-Rae Lee, Coming Home Again
    1996 Ellen Lupton and J. Abbott Miller, Period Styles: A Punctuated History
    1997 Sherman Alexie, Superman and Me
    1998 David Halberstam, Jordan’s Moment
    2000 Stephen King, On Writing
    2004 David Foster Wallace, Consider the Lobster
    2004 Brian Doyle, Joyas Voladoras
    2006 Sandra Steingraber, Tune of the Tuna Fish
    2006 Alison Bechdel, from Fun Home
    2006 Joey Franklin, Working at Wendy's
    2008 Nicholas Carr, Is Google Making Us Stupid?
    2008 Anna Quindlen, Stuff Is Not Salvation
    2009 Eula Biss, Time and Distance Overcome
    2012 Marion Nestle, Utopian Dream: A New Farm Bill
    2014 Judith Newman, To Siri, with Love
    2014 Dennis Baron, Facebook Multiplies Genders but Offers the Same Three Tired Pronouns

    An Album of Writing by Students
    Elizabeth Krotulis, The Use of Persuasion in "The Clan of One-Breasted Women” [rhetorical analysis]
    Katherine Spriggs, On Buying Local [argument]
    Melissa Hicks, The High Price of Butter [personal narrative]
    Sarah Esther Maslin, The Pawn King [profile]

    Index of Readings by Theme
    Index of Readings by Genre
    Index of Readings by Rhetorical Mode
    Index of Reading Clusters

    Glossary of Rhetorical Terms
    Index of Authors and Titles