Matt
Want to Know What American University Life is Like? Read These Novels. <header class="entry-header" style="margin-bottom: 36px; color: rgba(26, 26, 26, 0.701961); font-family: adobe-garamond-pro; font-size: 18px;">

Here are a few of my favorite campus novels. What are yours?


<a target="_blank" href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1590175751/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=m0b74-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=1590175751&linkId=fa8ddca91183e4dd4d44dfb079428614" style="background-image: initial; background-position: initial; background-size: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; color: rgb(61, 153, 145);"><em>Lucky Jim</em>, Kingsley Amis</a>

Amis’ protagonist, Jim Dixon, is a lecturer at a middling British university. His struggles with women, writer’s block, and academic pretense are hilarious and touching.


<a target="_blank" href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0143120204/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=m0b74-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=0143120204&linkId=e7bbff114126569937b4ef7536cf32e2" style="background-image: initial; background-position: initial; background-size: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; color: rgb(61, 153, 145);"><em>Changing Places: A Tale of Two Campuses,</em> David Lodge</a>

Lodge’s novel<em> </em>follows two professors – one British, one American – as they exchange jobs for a semester. This<em style="letter-spacing: 0px;"> </em>is satire, and it’s funny as hell.


<a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1590179285/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=m0b74-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=1590179285&linkId=1b462519fe93cd4ff6003fec76932907" style="background-image: initial; background-position: initial; background-size: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; color: rgb(61, 153, 145);"><em>Stoner</em>, John Williams</a>

The title character, William Stoner, grows up on a farm, attends agricultural college, stumbles into a required course on English literature – and sees his world blown wide open.


<a target="_blank" href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316126675/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=m0b74-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=0316126675&linkId=79e9a8ab86130aeb0417cadf942eb045" style="background-image: initial; background-position: initial; background-size: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; color: rgb(61, 153, 145);"><em>The Art of Fielding</em>, Chad Harbach</a>

Harbach’s debut novel takes place at a fictional Midwestern college, but it doesn’t have much to do with academics. Instead, the book focuses on Henry Skrimshander, a talented player on the school baseball team. For a bookworm like me, The Art of Fielding illuminated a dimension of college life that I'd barely been aware of.

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Apr 17, 2017 9:49 AM