There are multiple reasons to consider taking Engl 460D: Contemporary Literature of the United Kingdom and Ireland with Dr. Murray McArthur this fall (MW 2:30-3:50), not least of which are the professor, the topic, and the readings. There are six books total on the reading list; four novels, and two collections of poetry. I decided I should play the Facebook game where you turn to page 100 and type the third sentence of each book: except that the two volumes of poetry have been swiped from the university library I am currently sitting in. In other words, Dr. Murray is teaching poetry this term that is so compelling people commit crimes to own it. So you’ll have to settle for just the novels, award-winning, award-nominated, amazing novels. How can you read that sentence form Zadie Smith and not want to know more? Or not sigh in resignation with Ian McEwan? Page 100!
Angela Carter, Wise Children
I offed the false eyelashes, snitched a handful of Lady A.’s cotton wool to wipe off my make-up.
Margaret Drabble, The Radiant Way
It could not bear the bright inspection of another’s sorrow.
Ian McEwan, Saturday
This, he told himself, is the democratic process, however inconvenient.
Ali Smith, Girl Meets Boy
And the writer of Metamorphoses needed, who really really needed a happy love story at the end of Book 9 to carry him through several much more scurrilous stories about people who fall, unhappily and with terrible consequences, in love with their fathers, their brothers, various unsuitable animals, and the dead ghosts of their lovers.
Zadie Smith, NW
See them paintings your dad sells sometimes, the dots with the secret pictures?
Image credit: Zadie Smith, The Heroine Collective