Like many of you, I love Jane Austen’s books. I mean, I’ve read Pride and Prejudice so many times that I’ve lost count. Now, my husband isn’t a reader of fiction–he prefers things like biographies and music text books– but even if he were, I highly doubt he’d be very willing to pick up any of Jane Austen’s works. After all, aren’t they the epitome of girly lit? I have made him watch some of the movie adaptations with me, and he has enjoyed them, but I still don’t think that he’d pull them out on his own the way he does The Lord of the Rings.
William Deresiewicz, author of A Jane Austen Education, felt the exact same way. A grad student of literature, he preferred to read more modern authors like James Joyce and William Faulkner. He scoffed at the idea of Jane Austen’s novels being anything more than pure fluff.
And then he took a class centered around her works, and it changed his life. This book is a memoir of the transformation that took place in Deresiewicz as each of Jane’s famous novels taught him valuable life lessons.
I love the way that Deresiewicz, formerly an English professor at Yale and now a book critic for The New York Times and other publications, combined telling the story of his life while simultaneously analyzing each of Austen’s works and teaching me the same lessons he learned from them.
Couldn’t put this book down. And if you love Jane Austen as much as I do, you won’t be able to put it down either. It has made me want to immediately reread all of the Austen novels. I’m excited to find the same lessons Deresiewicz found within their pages…so those are probably going on my (already too long) summer reading list as well.