|Semester and Year||FA 2011|
|Time||6:20 PM - 9:00 PM|
In 1961 Philip Roth wrote: "the American writer…has his hands full in trying to understand, and then describe, and then make credible much of the American reality." Is he right? Can a literary imagination encompass its social and political moment? Does it thereby lose its hold on universal truths? Or is there a perspective on and insight into current events only fiction can offer? We'll consider these and other questions through readings of novels and short stories that depict their contemporary political and cultural events. We'll pay particular attention to the ways these writers borrow, subvert, or reinvent journalistic (or "new" journalistic) techniques. Students will be expected to produce several written exercises, as well as two longer fictional pieces (short stories or novel chapters) that take current events as a starting point for narrative. These will be discussed through in-class workshops. Readings may include John Updike's Rabbit Redux, Joan Didion's Democracy, Don Delillo's Mao II, and Brett Easton Ellis's Less Than Zero, as well as short stories by Grace Paley, Alicia Erian and Martin Amis.
Advanced Writing Courses (WRTNG-UG)