Tuesday, March 07, 2023

Five top novels in academic settings

Rebecca Makkai is the author of the novels I Have Some Questions for You, The Great Believers, The Hundred-Year House, and The Borrower, and the story collection Music for Wartime. A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, The Great Believers received an American Library Association Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, among other honors, and was named one of the Ten Best Books of 2018 by The New York Times. A 202 Guggenheim fellow, Makkai is on the MFA faculties of the University of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe and Northwestern University, and is the artistic director of StoryStudio Chicago. She lives on the campus of the midwestern boarding school where her husband teaches, and in Vermont.

[My Book, The Movie: The Borrower; The Page 69 Test: The Hundred-Year House; My Book, The Movie: The Hundred-Year House; My Book, The Movie: The Great Believers]

At the Waterstones blog Makkai tagged five favorite novels that bring characters together in an educational setting, including:
The Devil and Webster by Jean Hanff Korelitz

A young man graduating from The Devon School [in A Separate Peace by John Knowles] and attending camp at [Meg] Wolitzer’s Spirit-in-the-Woods [in The Interestings] might then have found himself at small and selective Webster College, the fictional setting for Jean Hanff Korelitz’s 2017 novel The Devil and Webster. Rather than a student’s point of view, we get that of the new and beleaguered college president, Naomi Roth, as she navigates a scandal that ultimately involves her own daughter, a freshman at the school. It’s a thought-provoking novel, a page turner that challenges our notions of fairness and justice.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue