Some wiseacre reminded me that this was Valentine’s Day, and in retrospect, I guess I have to admit that this is rather fitting, really. The novel is, after all, not just intellectually and artistically curious but deeply romantic as well.
In a way, although the protagonist may not quite realize it, the book is a love story—two, actually, revealed bit by bit in achingly heartfelt reminiscences through which we can examine one seemingly self-assured young man not only at his most roguishly swaggering but also at his most unguarded and vulnerable.
In Student Body we will not, as my main character sniffs of James Joyce’s Ulysses, explore obscure Christian heresies and turn-of-the-century Irish politics and the question of which of the author’s neighbors lived on what street, but we will indeed cover—emotionally, artistically, and intellectually—a fair bit of ground.
Perhaps I am an old softy. But I believe I have captured something, or a number of somethings, about the human condition that are worthy of exploration, and are entertaining as well. I hope readers may come to think so, too.