In this darkly satirical novel, a Columbia University English professor's life is turned upside down when it starts to follow the plot of Shakespeare's sonnets.
What if Shakespeare found himself living in modern-day Manhattan? The Sonnets follows Will Marlowe, a Columbia University English professor, who, while teaching a class on Shakespeare, realizes that his life is beginning to parallel the Bard's sonnets. Although married to a woman named Anne, Will falls for a handsome young man who inspires him, and becomes involved with a dark, mysterious, feminist graduate student. Nudging into the fray is the university poet, a rival of Will's, who tries to steal the young man away. Will is now forced to face the funny and disastrous consequences of these contending forces. This darkly erotic and humorous novel satirizes academia, contemporary love and sex, and the world of urban cool.
Lennard J. Davis is Professor and Head of the English Department, as well as Professor of Disability Studies and Human Development, at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His works include Factual Fictions: The Origins of the English Novel and My Sense of Silence: Memoir of a Childhood with Deafness.
"Davis puts his insider knowledge of academic imbroglios to entertaining (if occasionally shameless) use in this campus novel…Academics will nudge each other with scandalous pleasure at this unusual ivory tower love story." — Publishers Weekly
"A fascinating and disquieting look into deepest postmodern academia, through the lenses of Shakespeare's sonnets, deconstructivist dark ladies, fair young men, and much more besides in this riveting page-turner of a narrative. Little did we know that beneath the mild-mannered appearance of Lennard Davis the scholar and department head beat the heart of an in-your-face novelist!" — Gerald Graff, author of Beyond the Culture Wars
"Lyric reverie, philosophical reflection, and savage satiric portraiture are linked seamlessly in an academic novel that transcends the genre. Constantly compelling, lucid, and brilliant—one of the best reading experiences I've had in some time." — Frank Lentricchia, author of The Music of the Inferno
"Davis writes beautifully, has a keen ear and eye for textual detail, and rings some new changes on the standard mid-life crisis." — Michelle A. Massé, author of In the Name of Love: Women, Masochism, and the Gothic