Dr. Pat Hagen is a Professor in the Department of English.
1. Women in Love by D.H. Lawrence
Lawrence attempts something very difficult--representing the non-rational, even primal forces that drive people--and, for me at least, does it very, very well. This is the novel that, all those years ago, made me want to go to graduate school in English.
2. Eureka Street by Robert McLiam Wilson
The cover blurb calls it "an Irish novel like no other," which describes it pretty well. It's funny, satiric, and genuinely moving.
3. The Children's Book by A. S. Byatt
It's long and dense, but once I started it, I resented the time I had to spend on other things. Byatt describes the artist's consciousness better than anyone else I've read (sorry, James Joyce). Oh yeah, some Pre-Raphaelite types show up here, too.
4. The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles
A brilliant exploration of Victorian and modern consciousness, and a pretty great love story, too.
5. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
Another long, rather demanding and stylistically interesting novel that had an almost hypnotic effect on me and has stayed with me ever since. Sir Thomas More is generally the hero of his times, but Mantel draws my sympathies to Cromwell.
What are you reading now?
imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer
It's a pre-publication copy since I am writing a book review of it--a look at the different thought processes that fall under the "creativity" umbrella. It will be published on March 20, 2012 and is an informative, lively read.
Desert Island Pick (this is your bonus title--the book that you can take along to the island for sheer reading pleasure):
A medieval mystery by Susanna Gregory or Candace Robb. I am a sucker for medieval mysteries. Or anything by John LeCarre.