Franklin E. Zimring William G. Simon Professor of Law, Wolfen Distinguished Scholar

Straight Man by Richard Russo

Straight Man

Richard Russo's mid-1990s Straight Man is in my view the funniest, most wonderful academic novel in the English language. It recounts the mild adventures of a middle aged writer of one fine piece of fiction twenty-five years before who settled into a career in the English department of a low cast state university. It is insightful without being nasty and it features some of the most hilarious riffs on academic administration ever. I envy anyone who is about to read it for the first time.