Over the weekend, I started reading Stephen Carter’s The Emperor of Ocean Park. Carter, a law professor at Yale, made his name with nonfiction books like The Culture of Disbelief, and he also wrote a column for Christianity Today for several years. He’s now successfully transitioned into a career as a bestselling novelist. The novel’s narrator, Talcott Garland, is an African American law professor at a fictional Ivy League-type university (like they say – write what you know!), and a number of scenes are set within the academic world: departmental politics, classroom teaching, even pick-up basketball with fellow professors.
Reading this novel got me to thinking: What are the best novels about the academic life? To qualify, the novels would have to be good novels themselves, but they would also need to represent the academic world truthfully. I start with one that I’m certain should be on the list, and a few others that I enjoyed reading, though I’m not sure how truthfully they represent the academic world. Do you agree with my choices? What are your suggestions? [Read more…] about What are the Best Novels about the Academic Life?