Saturday, January 25, 2020

List: Campus Novels

Actually being a college professor holds no interest for me. I wasn't even particularly fond of being a college student. I don't want to live in the Ivory Tower, just visit. I love novels featuring college professors, set on college campuses, with an academic theme or plot. The Campus Novel is my favorite sub-genre.

So I keep a running list of Campus Novels. These are books I have read or want to read. If you have suggestions for additions to this list, please send them my way.

I'm not so keen on novels featuring students compared to the adults on campus. I read a distinction once (I think made by David Lodge) between "Campus Novels" that focus on college professors and other faculty, and "Varsity Novels" that focus on student life. The later don't appeal to me much. There may be a few on my list that could cross over, but most fall on the professor side of the line.

Those I have read are in red, with links to reviews if I wrote one. Those on my TBR shelf are in blue. Any favorites? If you have ideas for additions, please leave a comment.

Crescent by Diana Abu-Jaber

Jake's Thing by Kingsley Amis

Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis

One Fat Englishman by Kingsley Amis (reviewed here)

Death of an Old Goat by Robert Barnard

End of the Road by John Barth

The Dean's December by Saul Bellow

More Die of Heartbreak by Saul Bellow

Herzog by Saul Bellow

Ravelstein by Saul Bellow

The Morning After Death by Nicholas Blake

Eating People is Wrong by Malcolm Bradbury

The History Man by Malcolm Bradbury

Possession by A. S. Byatt

The Professor's House by Willa Cather

Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon

Falconer by John Cheever

Disgrace by J. M. Coetzee

The Archivist by Martha Cooley

Holy Disorders by Edmund Crispin (and rest of his Gervase Fen series)

Dreaming of the Bones by Deborah Crombie

In the Last Analysis by Amanda Cross (and the rest of her Kate Fansler series)

The Rebel Angels by Robertson Davies (reviewed here)

What's Bred in the Bone by Robertson Davies

The Lyre of Orpheus by Robertson Davies

White Noise by Don DeLillo

Death is Now My Neighbour by Colin Dexter (from his Inspector Morse series)

The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn by Colin Dexter (from his Inspector Morse series)

The English School of Murder by Ruth Dudley Edwards

The Trick of It by Michael Frayn

Death at the President's Lodging by Michael Innes

The Weight of the Evidence by Michael Innes

A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood (reviewed here)

Redback by Howard Jacobson

Pictures from an Institution by Randall Jarrell

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova 

My Latest Grievance by Elinor Lipman (reviewed here)

The British Museum is Falling Down by David Lodge

Thinks by David Lodge

Deaf Sentence by David Lodge (reviewed here)

Changing Places by David Lodge (reviewed here)

Small World by David Lodge

Nice Work by David Lodge

The War Between the Tates by Alison Lurie

A New Life by Bernard Malamud

All Souls by Javier Marias

An Oxford Tragedy by J. C. Masterman

The Groves of Academe by Mary McCarthy (reviewed here)

Irish Tenure by Ralph McInerny (and the rest of his Notre Dame mystery series)

The Search Committee by Ralph McInerny

Prisoner in a Red-Rose Chain by Jeffrey Moore

Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov

Pnin by Vladimir Nabokov

The Lost Journals of Sylvia Plath by Kimberly Knutsen

Blue Angel by Francine Prose

Japanese by Spring by Ishmael Reed

Letting Go by Philip Roth

The Professor of Desire by Philip Roth

The Breast by Philip Roth

The Dying Animal by Philip Roth

The Human Stain by Philip Roth (reviewed here)

That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo

Straight Man by Richard Russo

The Small Room by May Sarton

Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers

Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher

Porterhouse Blue by Tom Sharpe

Moo by Jane Smiley

On Beauty by Zadie Smith (reviewed here)

The Masters by C.P. Snow

Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Miss Pym Disposes by Josephine Tey

Memories of the Ford Administration by John Updike

Stoner by John Williams

The Hair of Harold Roux by Thomas Williams (reviewed here)

Anglo-Saxon Attitudes by Angus Wilson


NOTES

If you have suggestions for additions to this list, please leave a comment!

3 comments :

  1. Thanks for this list. I'd add Jill by Philip Larkin.

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  2. I just read and reviewed A Single Man and loved it! And this list was perfectly timed for me, I'm just about to embark on my last semester of my Masters program, so I should really get to reading campus novels while they're still "relatable" (or not). I definitely want to get to The Secret History soon!

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  3. That’s annimpressive list! I’ve only read Gaudy Night, which I loved, and would really like to re-read & Miss Pym has been on my radar for a long time. It’s the only Tey book I haven’t read yet.
    A different slant but sort of related (for me) are books set in medical institutions. I recently read A Mind to Murder & Shroud for a Nightingale by P.D. james - I know you’re a PD James fan so I’d imagine you’ve read them. 🙂

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