Wednesday, May 24, 2006

 

SUMMER READING RECOMMENDATIONS

Now that you've purged yourselves of the semester by reading The Da Vinci Code, People Magazine, Cosmo & Spin (o.k., that was me), you might be ready for some more serious suggestions. I already praised Toni Morrison's Beloved in class (indeed, it was just named the best American book of the last 25 years) and highly recommend it. Might be fun to think, as you read it, if it is a "postcolonial Victorian" novel -- hey, feel free to post on it: the Happy Ending Blog will live on indefinitely.

If you liked Howard's End, then you'll love: Forster's A Passage to India and A Room with a View, Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, A. S. Byatt's Possession.

If you liked A House for Mr. Biswas, then you'll love: Naipaul's Mimic Men, J. M. Coetzee's Waiting for the Barbarians, Timothy Mo's Sour Sweet, Ben Okri's The Famished Road.

If you liked Midnight's Children, then you'll love: Rushdie's Satanic Verses, Coetzee's Foe (a rewrite, sort of, of Robinson Crusoe) as well as many postmodern american novels out there (Pynchon, Roth) or classics such as Joyce's Ulysses, to which Midnight's Children responds.

If you liked Remains of the Day, then you 'll love: The God of Small Things and The English Patient.

If you liked On Beauty, then you'll love: Zadie Smith, White Teeth, David Lodge's novels (all hilarious).

If you liked The Kite Runner, stay tuned for Hosseini's next novel coming out soon.

others: Monica Ali's Brick Lane (female author, female protagonist), Margaret Drabble's trilogy: Radiant Way, A Natural Curiosity, and The Gates of Ivory (that was actually on the syllabus, but was out of print), Vikram Seth's A Suitable Boy (described as an Indian Jane Austen), Annie Proux's The Shipping News (highly indebted to the Victorian novel).

Feel free to add suggestions, comments as you read on. I'll add books as I think of them. I loved having you all in class. It was a great way for me to wrap things up at SLU. Good luck!

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