Sunday, May 31, 2020

Five top university-based novels

Kate Weinberg was born and lives in London. She studied English at Oxford and creative writing in East Anglia. She has worked as a slush pile reader, a bookshop assistant, a journalist and a ghost writer.

The Truants is her first novel.

At the Waterstones blog she tagged five favorite university-based novels, including:
Stoner by John Williams

There are two things about Stoner. One is the book itself. It’s the finest piece of character writing of any campus novel I’ve ever read. When you put it down, William Stoner never leaves you. But the other thing about it is the story of the book itself; it was a lost masterpiece, a novel that sold barely a couple of thousand copies on publication in 1965, then was ‘discovered’ nearly half a century later (hats off to Waterstones, who made it Book of the Year in 2014) and, since then, it has sold millions. For every campus student and wannabe novelist who thinks their genius is overlooked, John Williams’ Stoner is an unflinching account of the grinding disappointment of academic life – as well as an example of the world blowing the dust off a failed novel and discovering a masterpiece.
Read about the other entries on the list.

Stoner is among Andrew Hunter Murray's top five books to make you feel less alone, Thomas Maloney's ten best deaths in fiction, Simon Kernick's six best books, The Secret Teacher author's ten top books about teaching, Jamie Fewery's ten best fictional fathers, and Colum McCann's top ten novels featuring poets.

--Marshal Zeringue