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Academic Novels (University Fiction) Selective Bibliography

By Mark Allan, Head, Reference Department,
Porter Henderson Library, Angelo State University

The purpose of this page is to provide all interested with a reading list of "academic novels" or "university fiction." For purposes of this page the phrase "academic novels" is defined as those novels focused primarily upon the life, politics, and relationships of faculty and staff in an academic setting, but may also tangentially encompass that of students'.  (In a couple of cases I have broken this rule and included novels focusing upon students' experiences in order to shoehorn-in a couple of novels of possible interest.)  Notably, I have NOT included many items that might also be counted in the "Mystery" genre, as there are many books in this genre whose relationship to academia is but secondary.

The list below is by no means comprehensive, but should be regarded as a starting point.

Literary Criticism of the Genre:

Womack, Kenneth. (2002). Postwar academic fiction: Satire, ethics, community. New York: Palgrave.
Bevan, David. (1990). University fiction. Atlanta: Rodopi.

"Academic Novels" or "University Fiction":

Amis, Kingsley. (1964). Lucky Jim. New York: Viking.
Bellow, Saul. (1964). Herzog. New York: Viking.
Bellow, Saul. (2000). Ravelstein. New York: Viking.
Bernays, Anne. (1989). Professor Romeo. New York: Weidenfeld & Nicolson.
Brace, Gerald. (1968). Department: A novel. New York: Norton.
Bradbury, Malcolm. (1976). History man: A novel. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Byatt, A. S. (1990). Possession: A Romance. New York: Random House.
Cather, Willa. (1925). Professor’s house. New York: Knopf.
DeLillo, Don. (1985). White noise. New York: Viking.
French, Blaire. (1998). Ticking tenure clock: An academic novel. Albany: State University of New York Press.
Galbraith, John. (1990). Tenured professor: A novel. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Godwin, Gail. (1994). Good husband. New York: Ballentine.
Grudin, Robert. (1992). Book: A novel. New York: Random House.
Hassler, Jon. (1995). Rookery blues: A novel. New York: Ballantine.
Hassler, Jon. (1997). Dean’s list. New York: Ballentine.
Hellenga, Robert. (1998). Fall of a sparrow: A novel. New York: Scribner.
Hynes, James. (1997). Publish and perish: Three tales of tenure and terror. New York: Picador USA.
Hynes, James. (2001). Lecturer’s tale. New York: Picador USA.
Johnson, Denis. (2000). Name of the world. New York: HarperCollins.
Lodge, David. (1984). Small world: An academic romance. New York: MacMillan.
Lodge, David. (1990). Nice work. New York: Viking.
Lodge, David. (2001). Thinks--: A novel. New York: Viking.
Lurie, Alison. (1974). War between the Tates. New York: Random House.
Malone, Michael. (1993). Foolscap. New York: Washington Square.
McCarthy, Mary. (1952). Groves of academe. New York: Harcourt, Brace.
Parks, Tim. (1998). Europa. New York: Arcade.
Prose, Francine. (2000). Blue angel: A novel. New York: Harper Collins.
Pym, Barbara. (1986). An academic question. New York: Dutton.
Roth, Philip. (1962). Letting go. New York: Random House.
Roth, Philip. (1972). Breast. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
Roth, Philip. (1977). Professor of desire. New York: Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux.
Roth, Philip. (2000). Human stain. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Roth, Philip. (2001). Dying animal. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Russo, Richard. (1997). Straight man. New York: Random House.
Sharpe, Tom. (1974). Porterhouse blue. London: Secker and Warburg.
Sharpe, Tom. (1976). Wilt. London: Secker and Warburg.
Sharpe, Tom. (1979). Wilt alternative. New York: St Martin’s Press.
Sharpe, Tom. (1984). Wilt on high. New York: Random House.
Sharpe, Tom. (1995). Grantchester grind. A porterhouse chronicle. London: Secker.
Smiley, Jane. (1995). Moo. New York: AA Knopf.
Snow, C. P. (Charles Percy). (1951). Masters. New York: Scribners.
Williams, John. (1965). Stoner: A novel. New York: Viking.
Wilson, Angus. (1956). Anglo-Saxon attitudes: A novel. New York: Viking.

Academic Novels from the Student's Perspective (Keeping in mind that the page's creator is also a member of the Mythopoeic Society!)

Hand, Elizabeth. (1995). Waking the moon. New York: HarperPrism.
Kidd, Chip. (2002). Cheese monkeys : a novel in two semesters. New York: Perennial.
Tartt, Donna. (1992). Secret history. New York: Knopf. (Unabashed plug - my personal favorite!)

Academic Theatre

Albee, Edward. (1962). Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf?. New York: Atheneum.
Williamson, David. (1975). Department. Sydney: Currency Press.