Okay, world, I have another favor to ask:
This next year, for my Creative Writing Class, I'm going to assign some independent novel projects to students. I need some titles that I can put on my list. Here's what I'm looking for:
1. First and foremost, the book must be an example of truly exceptional writing; not just a great story and an important book in its historical context, but something so well written that students can learn from the style and quality of the prose.
2. The novel has to be appropriate for high school students (and something that won't freak their parents out). I think Nabakov's Lolita is one of the best examples of English prose ever, but I'm not going to fight that battle with the parents or the school board. Also, I really enjoy Umberto Eco, but I'm not going to assign him to a sixteen-year-old. So don't try to show off by recommending Joyce' Ulysses.
3. The novel can't be a part of any other class' curriculum. Give me lots of suggestions so I can eliminate some and still have plenty to work with.
4. Ideally, it's something I've read. Of course, I can always pick it up if it sounds like a winner.
So far, I'm thinking about
For Whom the Bell Tolls
A Prayer for Owen Meany
Lord of the Flies
and maybe, maybe The God of Small Things (think kids could handle that one? Think their parents would agree?)
It's been a long time since I've read I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. I remember being deeply affected by the book, but without a copy handy I can't remember the quality of the prose. Anybody have a take on that one?
Any suggestions would be welcome. Thanks, world.