Diary Fiction

This list of works of diary fiction is meant as a starting point. It is by no means comprehensive. Have suggestions for stories I should add? Let me know!

Go directly to the list.       What is diary fiction?

How to search this list.        Sources

What is diary fiction?

Generally diary fiction refers to works of literature in diary form but may also include “stories in which a diary serves as an important plot point, even though the story never takes diary form … This can include stories in which characters read, discuss, contemplate, search for, find, hide or destroy diaries.”

Source: Desirée Henderson, How to Read a Diary: Critical Contexts and Interpretive Strategies for 21st-Century Readers (Routledge, 2019), p.96.

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  • works of young adult fiction are identified by YA
  • works of graphic fiction or memoir are identified by the word Graphic

These labels are meant to assist those who are interested in a particular national literary tradition, in a particular time period, or in YA texts or graphic narrative. They are not precise and, in some cases, may be debatable. Please be understanding about the basic nature of these search tools.

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Abbott, H. Porter. Diary Fiction: Writing As Action. Cornell UP, 1984.

Martens, Lorna. The Diary Novel. Cambridge UP, 1985.

I am grateful to Sarah Clayburn for her assistance in producing this bibliography.

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Addison, Joseph. “Journal of a Sober Citizen,” The Spectator, 1712. England, C18

Alexie, Sherman. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Little, Brown, and Co., 2007. America, C21, YA

Alvarez, Julia. Before We Were Free. Knopf, 2002. Dominican Republic, America, C21, YA


Barroux. Line of Fire: Diary of an Unknown Soldier, translated by Sarah Ardizzone. Phoenix Yard Books, 2014. France, C21, Graphic

de Beauvoir, Simone. The Woman Destroyed. 1967. Translated by Patrick O’Brian. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1969. France, C20

Bechdel, Alison. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic. Houghton Mifflin Co., 2006. America, C21, Graphic

Beckett, Samuel. Malone Dies. Translated by the author. 1951. Ireland, C20

Bell, Gabrielle. Truth is Fragmentary: Travelogues & Diaries. Uncivilized Books, 2014. England, America, C21, Graphic

Bellow, Saul. Dangling Man. Vanguard Press, 1944. Canada, America, C20

Benedetti, Mario. The Truce: The Diary of Martín Santomé. 1960. Translated by Harry Morales. Penguin Books, 2015. Uruguay, C21

Bennett, Marek. The Civil War Diary of Freeman Colby. 2 vols. 2106, 2019 America, C21, Graphic

Beti, Mongo. Poor Christ of Bombo. 1956. Translated by Gerald Moore. Waveland Press,2005. Cameroon, C21

Blake, Dorothy. The Diary of a Suburban Housewife. 1936. America, C20

Bowles, Paul. “If I Should Open My Mouth.” Collected Stories, 1939-1976, Black Sparrow, 1967. America, C20

Boyle, Kay. Primer for Combat. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1942. America, C20

Brecht, Bertolt. The Business Affairs of Mr. Julius Caesar [Die Geschäfte des Herrn Julius Caesar]. 1957. Germany, C20

Brontë, Anne. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. 1848. Penguin Classics, 1996. England, C19

Brontë, Emily. Wuthering Heights. Thomas Cautley Newby, 1847. England, C19

Bryant, Dorothy. Ella Price’s Journal. Lippincott, 1972. America, C20

Byatt, A. S. Possession. Vintage, 1990. England, C20


Cabot, Meg. The Princess Diaries. HarperTeen, 2000. America, C21, YA

Cate, Eliza Jane. “Susy L—’s Diary,” Holden’s Dollar Magazine, October 1849-March 1850. America, C19

Charbonneau, Louis. Mambu et son amour. 1924. France, C20

Chardonne, Jacques. Eva, ou le journal interrompu. Paris: Grasset, 1930. France, C20

Charles, Elizabeth. Diary of Mrs. Kitty Trevylyn. 1864. England, C19

Chbosky, Stephen. The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Gallery Books, 1999. America, C20, YA

Cheever, John. “The Ocean.” 1964. America, C20

Coetzee, J. M. Diary of a Bad Year. Viking, 2007. South Africa, C21

Collins, T. Such is Life; being certain extracts from the diary of Tim Collins. 1903. England, C20.

Collins, Wilkie. The Moonstone. 1868. England, C19

—. The Woman in White. 1859. England, C19

Connell, Evan. S. The Diary of a Rapist. 1966. America, C20

Cortázar. Julio. “The Distances: The Diary of Alina Reyes.” 1951. Blow-Up and Other Stories, translated by Paul Blackburn. Pantheon Books, 1963, pp. 17-27. Argentina, C20

Couto, Mia. Sleepwalking Land. 1992. Translated by David Brookshaw. Serpant’s Tale, 2006. Mozambique, C21

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Dashwood, R.M. Provincial Daughter. 1961. England, C20

Davies, William Robertson. The Diary of Samuel Marchbanks. 1947. Canada, C20

Defoe, Daniel. Robinson Crusoe. 1712. England, C18

Delafield, E. M. Diary of a Provincial Lady. Macmillan and Co, 1930. England, C20

Ding, Ling. “Miss Sophie’s Diary.” 1927. I Myself and a Woman: Selected Writings of Ding Ling, edited and translated by Tani E. Barlow. Beacon Press, 1989, pp. 49-81. China, C20

Dostoevsky, Fyodor. The Gambler [Igrok]. 1866. Russia, C19

—. Notes from the Underground. 1864. Russia, C19

—. “White Nights” [“Bely nochi”]. 1848. Russia, C19.

Duhamel, Georges. Journal de Salavin. 1927. France, C20


Erdrich, Louise. Future Home of the Living God. HarperCollins, 2017. America, C21

Everett, Percival. Erasure. Hyperion, 2001. America, C21


Fauconnier, Geneviève. Claude. 1933. France, C20

Feris, Emil. My Favorite Thing is Monsters. 2016. America, C21, Graphic

Fielding, Helen. Bridget Jones’s Diary. Viking, 1996. England, C20

Flaubert, Gustave. “Memoirs of a Madman” [“Mémoirs d’un fou”]. 1838. France, C19

Flynn, Gillian. Gone Girl. Broadway Books, 2012. America, C21

Fowles, John. The Collector, 1963. England, C20.

France, Anatole. The Crime of Sylvester Bonnard [Le crime de Sylvestre Bonnard]. 1881. France, C19

Frisch, Max. Stiller. 1954. Germany, C20.


Gide, André. The Counterfeiters, With “Journal of the Counterfeiters.” [Les faux-monnayeurs]. 1951. Translated by Dorothy Bussy and Justin O’Brien. Vintage, 1973. France, C20

—. The Notebooks of André Walter. 1891. Philosophical Library, 2007. France, C19

—. The School for Wives [L’Ecole des femmes]. 1929. France, C20

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. “The Yellow Wallpaper.” The New England Magazine, 1892. America, C19

Gloeckner, Phoebe. The Diary of a Teenage Girl. North Atlantic Books, 2002. America, C20, Graphic

Gogol, Nikolay. “Diary of a Madman.” 1835. Russia, C19

Grass, Günther. From the Diary of a Snail [Aus dem Tagebuch einer Schnecke]. 1972. Germany, C20

Graves, Wallace. Trixie. Knopf, 1969. America, C20

Grossmith, George and Weedon Grossmith. The Diary of a Nobody. 1892. England, C19

Guerra, Wendy. Everyone Leaves, translated by Achy Obejas. AmazonCrossing, 2006. Cuba, C21

Guibert, Hervé. To the Friend Who Did Not Save My Life. 1990. Translated by Linda Cloverdale. Serpent’s Tale, 1993. France, C29

Guo, Xiaolu. A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers. Anchor Books, 2007. China, C21


Hardy, Thomas. “Alicia’s Diary.” 1887. England, C19

Hertmans, Stefan. War & Turpentine, translated by David McKay. Pantheon, 2016. The Netherlands, Holland, C21

Highsmith, Patricia. Edith’s Diary. Simon and Schuster, 1977. America, C20

Hiranandani, Veera. The Night Diary. Dial Books, 2018. America, C21, YA

Hugo, Victor. Last Day of a Condemned Man [Le Dernier jour d’un condamneé]. 1828. France, C19

Hustvedt, Siri. The Blazing World. Simon and Schuster, 2014. America, C21

Hutchins, Scott. A Working Theory of Love. Penguin, 2012. America, C21

Huxley, Elspeth. The Red Rock Wilderness. 1957. England, C20



James, Henry. “The Diary of a Man of Fifty.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, 1879. America, C19

—. “The Impression of a Cousin.” The Century Magazine, 1883. America, C19

Jameson, Anna Brownell. The Diary of an Ennuyée. Colburn, 1826. Ireland, C19

Jones, Stephen Lloyd. The String Diaries. Little, Brown, & Co., 2013.

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Kaufman, Sue. Diary of a Mad Housewife. Random House, 1967. America, C20.

Kashyap, Keshni. Tina’s Mouth: An Existential Comic Diary. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012. Singapore, America, C21, Graphic

Keyes, Daniel. Flowers for Algernon. Harcourt, Brace & World, 1966. America, C20

Khong, Rachel. Goodbye, Vitamin. Henry Holt & Co., 2017. America, C20

Kierkegaard, Søren. Either/Or. 1843. Denmark, C19

—. “Guilty?/Not Guilty?” [“Skydig-Ikke Skylding”]. 1845. Denmark, C19

Kinney, Jeff. Diary of Wimpy Kid: A Novel in Cartoons. Amulet Books, 2007. America, C21, YA

Kochalka, James. American Elf. Vol 1: The Collected Sketchbook Diaries Of James Kochalka. Top Shelf Productions, 2004. America, C21, Graphic

Kourouma, Ahmadou. Allah Is Not Obliged [Allah n’est pas obligé]. 2000. Translated by Frank Wynne. First Anchor Books, 2007. Ivory Coast, Côte d’Ivoire C21


Laub, Michel. Diary of the Fall. 2011. Translated by Margaret Jull Costa. Other Press,2014. Brazil, C21

La Vrille. Le Journal d’une masseuse. 1906. France, C20

Lermontov, Mikhail. A Hero of Our Time [Geroi nashego vremeni]. 1840. Russia, C19

Lessing, Doris. The Diary of a Good Neighbor. 1983. Reprinted in Diaries of Jane Somers. Vintage, 1984. England, C20

—. The Golden Notebook. 1962. Harper Perennial, 2007. England, C20

Loos, Anita. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes: The Illuminating Diary of a Professional Lady.Grosset & Dunlap, 1925. America, C20

Lowry, Malcolm. “Through the Panama.” 1961. England, C20

Lu Xun. “Diary of a Madman.” 1918. China, C20

Lurie, Alison. Real People. Random House, 1969. America, C20


Maroh, Julie. Blue is the Warmest Color. 2010. Translated by Ivanka Hahnenberger. Arsenal Pulp Press, 2013. France, C21, Graphic

Marshall, Emma. Mrs. Mainwaring’s Journal. 1874. England, C19

Maupassant, Guy de. “Le horla.” 1886. France, C20

—. “A Madman” [“Un fou”]. 1885. France, C19

—. “My twenty-five days” [“Mes vingt-cinq jours”]. 1885. France, C20

Merrill, James. The (Diblos) Notebook. Atheneum, 1965. America, C20

Mills, Claudia. The Totally Made-up Civil War Diary of Amanda MacLeish. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008. America, C21, YA

Mirbeau, Octave. The Diary of a chamber maid [Le journal d’une femme de chamber]. 1900. France, C19, C20.

Mitchell, David. Cloud Atlas. Random House, 2004. England, C21

Murdoch, Iris. The Sea, The Sea. 1978. England, C20


Nabokov, Vladimir. Lolita. 1955. Russia, America, C20

Nemerov, Howard. Journal of the Fictive Life. 1965. America, C20

Nolen, Jerdine. Eliza’s Freedom Road: An Underground Railroad Diary. Simon and Schuster, 2017. America, C21, YA

Noguchi, Yone. The American Diary of a Japanese Girl. 1901. Edited by Edward Marx and Laura E. Franey. Temple UP, 2007. America, Japan, C19, C20


O’Connor, George and Harmen Van den Bogaert. Journey into Mohawk Country, translated by William Starna and Charles Gehring. First Second, 2006. America, The Netherlands, Holland, C21, Graphic, YA

Orwell, George. Nineteen Eighty-Four.1949. England, C20

Ozeki, Ruth. A Tale for the Time Being. Canongate, 2013. America, Japan, C21

Oyeyemi, Helen. “if a book is locked there’s probably a good reason for that don’t you think?” what is not yours is not yours: Stories. Riverhead Books, 2016, pp. 307-325. England, C21

Oyono, Ferdinand. Houseboy. 1960. Translated by John Reed. Heinemann Educational Books, 1966. Cameroon, C20

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Palahniuk, Chuck. Diary. Anchor Books, 2003. America, C21

Parks, Tim. Sex is Forbidden. Arcade, 2012. England, C21

Parra, Teresa de la. Iphigenia (The diary of a young lady who wrote because she was bored), 1924. Venezuela, C20

Patchen, Kenneth. The Journal of Albion Moonlight. Padell, 1941. America, C20

Phelps, Elizabeth Stuart. The Gates Ajar. 1868. America, C19

Poe, Edgar Allen. “The Journal of Julius Rodman.” 1840. America, C19

—. “MS Found in a Bottle.” 1833. America, C19

Prentiss, Elizabeth. Stepping Heavenward. Collins’ Clear-Type Press, 1869. America, C19


Quintero, Isabel. Gabi: A Girl in Pieces. Cinqo Punto Press, 2014. Mexico, America, C21, YA

Qiu Miaojin. Notes of a Crocodile. 1994. Translated by Bonnie Huie. NYRB, 2017. Taiwan, C21


Richardson, Samuel. Pamela; or Virtue Rewarded. 1740. England, C18

Rilke, Rainer Maria. The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge [Die Aufzeichnungen des Malte Laurids Brigge]. 1910. Austria, C20.

Rowson, Susanna. Sincerity. 1803-04. Edited by Duncan Faherty and Ed White. Just Teach One, http://jto.common-place.org/just-teach-one-homepage/rowsons-sincerity-1803-04/ America, C18, C19

Russell, Rachel Renée. Dork Diaries: Tales From a Not-So-Fabulous Life. Aladdin,2009. America, C21, YA


Sackville-West, Victoria. No Signposts in the Sea. 1961. England, C20

Sand, George. La Daniella. 1856. France, C19

—. Isidora. 1846. France, C19

Sansal, Boualem. The German Mujahid, translated by Frank Wynne. Europa Editions, 2008. Algeria, France, C21

Sarton, May. As We Are Now. W.W. Norton & Co., 1973. America, C20

Sartre, John-Paul. Nausea. 1938. France, C20

Saunders, George. “The Simplica Girl Diaries.” Tenth of December. Random House,2013, pp. 109-167. America, C21

Selinko, Annemarie. Désirée. 1951. Austria, France, C20.

Sewell, Elizabeth Missing. Journal of a Home Life. 1867. England, C19.

Shute, Henry A. The Real Diary of a Real Boy. 1902. America, C20.

Sinclair, Upton. The Journal of Arthur Stirling. 1903. America, C20.

Smith, Dodie. I Capture the Castle. 1948. England, C20, YA

Smith, L. J. The Vampire Diaries. Vol. 1: The Awakening. Hodder Children’s Division, 2010. America, C20, YA

Smith, Stevie. Novel on Yellow Paper. 1936. England, C20

Smy, Pam. Thornhill. Roaring Brook P, 2017. England, C21, Graphic

Söderberg, Hjalmar. Doktor Glas. 1905. Sweden, C20

Sontag, Susan. “The Way We Live Now.” 1986. America, C20

Stegner, Wallace. The Spectator Bird. 1976. America, C20

Stevenson, Dorothy Emily. Mrs. Tim Carries On. 1941. England, C20

Stoker, Bram. Dracula. 1897. England, C19

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Tamaki, Mariko. Skim. Groundwood Books, 2010. Canada, Japan, C21, Graphic

Tanizaki, Junichiro. The Key and Diary of a Mad Old Man. 1961, 1962. Japan, C20

Thackeray, William Makepeace. The Diary of C. Jeames de la Pluche, Esq. 1845-46. England, C19

—. “Passages from the Diary of the Late Dolly Duster…” in Fraser’s Magazine, 1838. England, C19.

—. “Skimmings from ‘The Diary of George IV,’” The Yellowplush Corrospondence, 1838. England, C19.

Townsend, Sue. The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 ¾. 1982. England, C20, YA

Turgenev, Ivan. Diary of a Superfluous Man. 1850. Russia, C19

Twain, Mark. Excerpts from Adam’s Diary. 1893. America, C19

—. Eve’s Diary. 1905. America, C20


Updike, John. A Month of Sundays. Knopf, 1975. America, C20

—. “From the Journal of a Leper.” The New Yorker, 1976. America, C20


Vandermeer, Jeff. Annihilation. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014. America, C21

Vidal, Gore. Myra Breckenridge. 1968. America, C20

—. Myron. 1974. America, C20

—. “Pages from an Abandoned Journal.” 1956. America, C20

Vonnegut, Kurt. Mother Night. 1966. America, C20


Walker, Alice. The Color Purple. 1982. Mariner Books, 2003. America, C20

Warner-Vieyra, Myriam. Juletane. 1982. Translated by Betty Wilson. Waveland Press, Inc., 2014. Guadeloupe, Caribbean, C20

Weston, Carol. Ava and Pip. 2015. America, C21, YA

Wiggins, Kate Douglass Smith. The Diary of a Goose Girl. 1902. America, C20

Woolf, Virginia. “The Journal of Mistress Joan Martyn.” 1979. England, C20




Zhang, Jie. “Love Must Not Be Forgotten.” 1979. Love Must Not Be Forgotten, translated by Gladys Young. Panda Books, 1987, pp. 1-15. China, C20

Zola, Emile. Claude’s Confession [La Confession de Claude]. 1865. France, C19

Last updated: July 9, 2019

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