Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Spring 2011 Newsletter

Recommended Reading

The exhibition Culture Unbound: Collecting in the Twenty-First Century features a number of engaging novels by authors whose archives were acquired by the Ransom Center over the past decade. Visit the exhibition to learn more about these and other books by many of the most talented writers of our age.

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Judith Hearne by Brian Moore

(A. Deutsch, 1955)

This novel is simply devastating. Moore's exquisite development and exploration of the title character, an aging Irish spinster, is as masterful as it is heartbreaking. It's a lonely story, but it demonstrates Moore's adept talent and economy as a writer.

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The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien

(Houghton Mifflin, 1990)

This semi-autobiographical account of the Vietnam War provides a deeply human portrayal of the wartime experience of soldiers. It also demonstrates why a former soldier would be compelled to write so extensively about war.

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Lark and Termite by Jayne Anne Phillips

(Knopf, 2009)

Lyrical, intense, and magical, this novel tells the story of a young woman and her disabled brother and the parallel tale of the boy's father in Korea nine years prior. The novel weaves together elements of war, history, family, love, and one's deep connection and continuity with the past.

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Sacred Hunger by Barry Unsworth

(H. Hamilton, 1992)

This Booker Prize-winning novel centers on an eighteenth-century slave ship, which Unsworth describes in an early draft as "a minute, discrete element in a gigantic commercial enterprise that was to change the world forever, cost forty million lives, bring to Africa misery on a scale hardly conceivable, to Europe enormous infusions of capital, to France the Industrial Revolution, to America the plantation system, the Civil War and the shape of the nation."

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Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace

(Little, Brown, 1996)

A colossal work of fiction and one of the most complex, engaging, fun, and sad novels written in the late twentieth century. It's the work of a literary genius.

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