How awesome is this—I wanted something really light to read on my Kindle while at the gym (I’m also reading Great Expectations, an 800-page novel about London, and a lot of Renaissance German poetry right now…), and stumbled across Sarah Dessen’s new book, What Happened to Goodbye. Obviously since I’m 22 and a bit beyond her target age range now, I haven’t read any of her stuff since before I moved to Chapel Hill. Since she went to UNC-CH, did the same writing program as me there, and still lives there with her kids, I thought it might be interesting because I know the towns she usually sets her books in often are very similar to Chapel Hill.
Seeing all the Chapel Hill/UNC references is funny—the girl’s name is Mclean, after her hometown university’s basketball coach, Mclean Rich—ie, Dean Smith, for example. But this was the passage that literally made me laugh aloud:
“…so ravaged it looked like one of my term papers from when I’d taken Ap English with Mr. Reid-Barbour, the hardest teacher in my last school.”
Dr. Reid Barbour is a real professor at UNC, and I’ve had him twice! He is really, really difficult—I had him for British literature and Renaissance literature—but also an AMAZING teacher. He takes off his shoes and his lectures are like super-intense, 50-minute-long monologues. And he’s obsessed with Dachshunds… he has lots of shirts with them on it and often brought his, Tilly, to class. She was so cute!
Anyway, just thought I’d share that little anecdote with anyone else who’s a Sarah Dessen fan. I wonder what Dr. Barbour, a very, very academic person who like, ravages archives in the British countryside for letters by John Donne during breaks from school, thinks about the fact that he’s mentioned in a YA novel. I’m sure he and Sarah Dessen are friends and probably had a good laugh about it.