I'm from Lincoln, Nebraska. I'm just finishing school with a degree in English (writing and rhetoric). I'm only part time at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln, and I spend the rest of my time at work. I work at a publishing company with our Editorial Review department. I'm in "critique mode" most of the day, but I think that's a good thing.
My favorite Author is Amos Oz-the postmodern Hebrew writer/political activist. I'm also a big fan of the beat poets in general. Frankly, anything with a political undertone tickles my fancy. I'm, of course, naturally inclined to like anything by Orwell, Hawthorne, or Dickens.
The last great fiction book I read was actually a book by Oz called "Panther in the Basement." It's the story of a young boy (12, I think) in British-occupied Israel. This would make it pre-1948, I think. He befriends a British officer and is punished for it (sort of excommunicated by his friends). It's a great work because it goes beyond just telling a story. The parallel of Palestine now occupied by Israel is made quite clear. He's able to make powerful political statements about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the need for a Palestinian state as well as the need for mutual understanding, cooperation, and collaboration. All this from the mouth of a 12-year-old.