Stacy Schiff on her selection:
In a contest between the novelist Elizabeth Jane Howard and her third husband, Kingsley Amis, I will opt for Howard every time -- with an exception made for Amis's 1954 Lucky Jim. As laughter seems in short supply these days, I offer up this favorite Amis set-piece, arguably among the funniest pages of 20th century English literature not written by P.G. Wodehouse. I'm going to do my best to get through them with a straight face, but know that I never have before. Our hero, who is not much of a hero, is Jim Dixon, a lecturer in medieval history at a provincial British university. He is the houseguest of his department chair, who holds Dixon's fledgling career in his hands. You needn't worry about the minor characters who flitter by, all of them peripheral to the central drama here, which is Dixon's climbing into bed and out of it, many hours, several surprises, and one epic hangover later.
Lucky Jim, by Kingsley Amis
Music: "Shift of Currents" by Blue Dot Sessions // CC BY-NC 2.0
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