But I guess here's what I'd bring:
- George Eliot, Daniel Deronda
- Emma Donoghue, Hood
- Philip Pullman, The Golden Compass
Emma Donoghue is my favorite contemporary lesbian novelist -- she's trained academically (an Oxbridge PhD I think) and has done a huge array of projects -- several novels, some plays, short stories, two scholarly studies, an edited anthology, etc etc. I think she's brilliant. This book in particular is incredibly moving, following a bereaved lesbian in the days immediately after her partner's sudden death.
And the final choice signals that yes, I do read fantasy and SF, but I'm incredibly picky about it. Plus this book is itself para-academic in its setting, the Oxford and Cambridge of the future in an alternative alchemical universe. It's Milton inspired, so if you're an English major you'll get the references -- but if you're not you'll just enjoy a damn good story. And it's the first in a trilogy -- so there's more, when you're finished with it! Plus I love a plucky female hero/ine in my novels and in my relationships...