Alternative reading list: top 10 university books
The best academia-set tales, featuring David Lodge, Dorothy L Sayers, Tom Wolfe and Donna Tartt
A group of insular, aggressively academic students do something terrible – and then have to do something even more terrible to cover it up.
Once a wunderkind novelist, Grady Tripp is now an over-sexed, pot-bellied, pot-smoking creative writing teacher working on Wonder Boys, a 2000-page novel he’ll never finish.
This satire on uni life is set deep in the wheatfields of the American Midwest.
Pierced, tattooed student Angela seems to be the perfect muse for bored creative writing teacher Swenson – but is Angela as innocent as she seems?
Sheltered country girl Charlotte discovers, to her disappointment, that uni is as much about sex, smoking, and knocking back shots as it is about academic achievement.
Persephone is glad to leave her Scottish highlands home for university, and soon becomes obsessed with the talented and mysterious Leo.
Oxford University, 1935, soon before the raucous ‘gaudy night’ celebrations – and something sinister is afoot.
A battle between widowed novelist Helen and philandering scholar Ralph, written via a mix of his attempts to tape-record random thoughts and the writing assignments of her students.
According to legend, Fitzgerald wrote this novel to win back his fiancée Zelda. The book features love affairs, collapsed family fortunes, lawsuits, and a young man’s eventual downfall.
Beautiful prose, religious debate, and one of the greatest bromances ever written.