7 Novels About Academia

Because universities, author Julie Schumacher says, are the perfect settings for satire.

Books About Academia

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After Dear Committee Members was published, some readers asked me why I thought campus novels are so appealing. My answer: academia is a weird little world. Take a person who has spent a dozen years alone in a library studying an arcane topic, then toss her into a university and expect her to compete for resources with other poorly socialized individuals. It’s a situation meant for satire.

I hadn’t planned to write a follow-up, but I became very fond of my irascible main character, Jason Fitger, and wanted to see how he would survive his first year as department chair. Hence: The Shakespeare Requirement, out this month. My novels tread within the footsteps of several other magnificent books about academe.

Featured Image: Shutterstock; Author Photo: Tim Fransisco Photography

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JULIE SCHUMACHER grew up in Wilmington, Delaware, and graduated from Oberlin College and Cornell University. Her first novel, The Body Is Water, was published by Soho Press in 1995 and was an ALA Notable Book of the Year and a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award and the Minnesota Book Award. Her other books include the novel Dear Committee Members, a short story collection, An Explanation for Chaos, and five books for younger readers. She lives in St. Paul and is a faculty member in the Creative Writing Program and the Department of English at the University of Minnesota.

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