If I were still teaching composition, or if I taught English in a grammar or middle school, I would totally make an assignment out of this news story: the House of Representatives in the state of Massachusetts has declared Moby Dick the state’s official “epic novel.” The bill still needs to pass the Senate and secure the Gov’s signature, but still, the idea of a “state novel” caused a bit of attention. State Representative Cory Atkins was dismayed, according to the AP article (Hi Hillel!):
Rep. Cory Atkins said she was “appalled” and contended her district in Concord has “more authors per square mile than any other.”
“What about Louisa May Alcott? What about (Nathaniel) Hawthorne? How am I going to face my constituents?” she said.
Continuing Rep. Atkins’ “What about…?” question, I have to ask, what would be the official state novel of your state or territory or province or zone or whatever? What author in your locale of residence produced the best written novel that should represent the whole state? More specifically, which romance novelist in your state wrote the best novel, in your estimation? (And at this moment, are romance novelists in Maryland heading for the border to take up residence in PA or WV? Heh heh.)
This is one of those moments where I wish I could be an English teacher again.