Tag Archives: Straight Man

A Contemporary Version of Stoner? Loner by Teddy Wayne

September 13, 2016 – vanityfair.com

Loner Author Teddy Wayne on Tackling the Campus Novel and Male Privilege
The author discusses the dark social forces that influenced his latest book.
BY MIKE SACKS

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Vanity Fair contributor and New York Times columnist Teddy Wayne has a new campus novel, Loner (Simon & Schuster), out today, just in time for back-to-school season. Wayne’s third book follows David Federman, an alienated Harvard freshman who soon becomes infatuated with Veronica, a glamorous, sophisticated Manhattanite in his dorm.

What begins as a wry coming-of-age story soon spirals into a dark, disturbing portrait of obsession and an examination of class and gender politics.”

More:

http://kdlg.org/post/first-year-college-student-finds-himself-outclassed-loner#stream/0

http://www.dailynebraskan.com/arts_and_entertainment/hammack-loner-represents-modern-college-life/article_ed40ec9c-8f62-11e6-8e10-ff014ed49d2a.html

Ms. Mentor Recommends: How to Write a Successful Academic Novel & A Summer Reading List

1“You’ll start, naturally, with the terror of the blank screen. Never tell yourself, ‘I am going to commit an act of literature.’ That can paralyze you. Instead, try: ‘I am going to write a horrendously awful first draft.’ That’ll get you started. Setting yourself a daily writing quota is helpful. It can be time (an hour a day) or words (500 words a day). Ms. Mentor presumes you have something in mind for your academic novel. Perhaps there’s a character you want to create—a struggling adjunct, an aggrieved graduate student, a free spirit who says the-hell-with-it-all. Probably you want some kind of revenge. First let Ms. Mentor tell you what not to do in writing your masterpiece—at least if you want her to approve of your final product.”

June 2, 2014 – The Chronicle of Higher Education

Writing Academic Novels for Fun and (Little) Profit by Ms. Mentor

Death of the Black-Haired Girl by Robert Stone

1“The stakes in college novels usually run to lost jobs and broken marriages. Stone immediately ups the ante with his title. Maud Stack is the beautiful and brilliant junior English major who will die. Will it be at the hands of the mumbling schizophrenic who roams the quad or one of the angry townies Maud must pass by on the way to class? Will she be murdered by one of the Right to Life fanatics who threaten her because of the mocking and blasphemous essay she wrote for the campus newspaper? Will she be killed by her advisor and lover, professor Steve Brookman, desperate to end his affair with Maud because his wife is pregnant? Through the first half of the novel, Stone keeps in play all these possibilities, any one of which would be fairly easy to understand in cultural or psychological terms.”November 18, 2013 – The Daily Beast

Of Sin and College: Robert Stone’s ‘Death of a Black-Haired Girl’ by Tom LeClair

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/11/18/of-sin-and-college-robert-stone-s-death-of-a-black-haired-girl.html

December 1, 2013 – The Columbus Dispatch Sunday

Death of the Black-Haired Girl: Big mystery on campus makes a taut thriller by  Margaret Quamme

The (sad) life of an adjunct teacher

1“Alex Kudera’s Fight for Your Long Day is likely to provoke post-traumatic stress reactions in anyone who has been a college teacher. Unlike most academic novels that feature the first-world problems of tenured professors, Kudera’s is about Cyrus Duffleman, a depressed, saggy, almost-40 adjunct who makes, he calculates, about $10 an hour teaching courses to disengaged—and sometimes mentally ill—students at universities all over Philadelphia.”

March 25, 2013 – The Chronicle of Higher Education 

Considering Adjunct Misery. An academic novel offers an Everyman for the new American economy by William Pannapacker

https://chronicle.com/article/Considering-Adjunct-Misery/138085/

More on adjuncting:

http://chronicle.com/article/Adjunct-Loving-It/145109/?cid=cc&utm_source=cc&utm_medium=en

About that back-to-school nostalgia

1“Even when you have finished your schooling, it’s hard to forget the gut-churning excitement, the strange objectless yearnings, that accompany the beginning of the academic year. This is as true, I think, for kindergartners as it is for those completing their final year of college (graduate school, by all reports, is another, far more hellish story). But it is perhaps most intense during our undergraduate days. This mingled ease and pain attains to a special plangency in America, where the past, perhaps because we have so little of it, becomes mythic almost immediately, which I proffer as a reason for the preponderance of American books among those mentioned below. Or you can blame my deep-seated jingoistic urges […] here are eight of the very best books providing the drug of nostalgia we all crave, now that we’re sliding down—as Tom Lehrer once sang—the razor blade of life.”

8/13/2012 – The Daily Beast

Must-Read College Novels: From “Lucky Jim” to “Pnin” by Sam Munson

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/08/13/must-read-college-novels-from-lucky-jim-to-pnin.html

“Indulging in some late-August back-to-school nostalgia, the Daily Beast put together a list of “Must-Read College Novels” ranging from Kingsley Amis’Lucky Jim to John Williams’ Stoner. As a fan of college, books, and college books, I thought I’d work up a supplementary list: the principal ingredients that no college novel can do without.”

8/27/2012, The Airship

Back to School: A List of Essentials for the College Novel by Kayla Blatchley

http://airshipdaily.com/blog/back-school-list-essentials-college-novel

“The best campus novels have a comic, rueful touch […]”

1“I’ve always been drawn to novels set in the academy. I like the parochial closed world in which incompatible people are forced to come to terms with one another. I like the relatively high tolerance for oddity and the relatively low threat of physical violence. I like characters who speak in complete sentences, use lofty vocabulary and sprinkle their repartee with literary references.”

September 6, 2011, The Wall Street Journal

Back to School by Cynthia Crossen