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Literary Hoo-O-Meter

The University of Virginia has bit parts and sometimes starring roles in popular fiction. Each novel below has been rated by our trusty Hoo-O-Meter; the higher the rating, the more prominent UVA’s role in the book.

by Jonathan Franzen
Joey Berglund attends UVA for a few semesters, tries to break up with his girlfriend back home, makes wealthy friends

The Submission
by Amy Waldman
Mohammad Khan, an American-¬born graduate of UVA, is the Muslim architect with a winning design for a 9/11 memorial

by Julien Green (Col ’22)
This college coming-of-age story is set on an unnamed campus inspired by the author’s student years at UVA between 1919 and 1922

Death of a Salesman
by Arthur Miller
Notable line: “[Biff] came back after that month and he took his sneakers—remember those sneakers with ‘University of Virginia’ printed on them? He was so proud of those, wore them every day. And he took them down in the cellar, and burned them up in the furnace.”

The Half-Life of Happiness
by John Casey (faculty)
Charlottesville and, to a lesser extent, UVA are the backdrop for the dissolution of a marriage

The Silence of the Lambs
by Thomas Harris
Protagonist Clarice Starling on the hunt for a serial killer says, “I graduated from UVA, doctor. It is not a charm school.”

The Disagreement
by Nick Taylor (Col ’98, Grad ’05)
The story is set on Grounds during the Civil War and many characters are based on historical figures