Thursday, January 09, 2020

Eight novels about students and teachers behaving badly

Caroline Zancan is the author of the novels Local Girls and We Wish You Luck. She is a graduate of Kenyon College and holds an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. A Senior Editor at Henry Holt, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband and their children.

At Electric Lit she tagged eight stories about what really happens on campus, including:
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Hailsham, the exclusive English boarding school where Ishiguro’s novel begins, feels more like a grand old manor than it does a traditional campus, but that’s ultimately the least strange detail of the many unorthodox elements at work there. The sci-fi twist that ultimately explains many of the mysteries that the book’s earnest, heartbreaking narrator tries to untangle across the story does nothing to diminish how real and raw her experience is. Like all the best science fiction—like all the best fiction—the book ultimately speaks to what it means to be a human. How a middle-aged man managed to so realistically inhabit the voice of a young girl coming of age and harness it to convey all the capital T Truths he illuminates here may be the greatest mystery of all.
Read about another entry on the list.

Never Let Me Go is on LitHub's list of the ten books that defined the 2000s, Meg Wolitzer's ten favorite books list, Jeff Somers's lists of nine science fiction novels that imagine the future of healthcare and "five pairs of books that have nothing to do with each other—and yet have everything to do with each other" and eight tales of technology run amok and top seven speculative works for those who think they hate speculative fiction, a list of five books that shaped Jason Gurley's Eleanor, Anne Charnock's list of five favorite books with fictitious works of art, Esther Inglis-Arkell's list of nine great science fiction books for people who don't like science fiction, Sabrina Rojas Weiss's list of ten favorite boarding school novels, Allegra Frazier's top four list of great dystopian novels that made it to the big screen, James Browning's top ten list of boarding school books, Jason Allen Ashlock and Mink Choi's top ten list of tragic love stories, Allegra Frazier's list of seven characters whose jobs are worse than yours, Shani Boianjiu's list of five top novels about coming of age, Karen Thompson Walker's list of five top "What If?" books, Lloyd Shepherd's top ten list of weird histories, and John Mullan's lists of ten of the best men writing as women in literature and ten of the best sentences as titles.

--Marshal Zeringue