September’s as good a month as any to return to the campus novel. Since its inception around the 1950s—at least insofar as its American iterations are concerned—there’s been something inextricably optimistic about it. It implies transformation, a metamorphosis, and there’s energy in that.
For the past few weeks, everywhere I’ve gone in New York City, I’ve seen college students in full graduation regalia. New York is home to countless universities, and May and early June is prime season for mortarboards and proud parents from the Midwest boldly venturing on to the subway.