Novels and Short Fiction

This course is an introduction to fiction in both the long
and short forms. As a novelist as well as a critic, I am interested at multiple
levels in how writers produce the effects that they do. While being attentive
to the practical aspects of writing fiction, the class will also be an
introduction to the genre, that is, the history and politics of novels and
short stories as cultural forms (though restricted to the twentieth century).
The readings are selected with cultural diversity in mind. Students will write
two in-class exams (a combination of short questions and short essays), two
take-home essays, and briefer online responses to
readings on a more regular basis. At the end of the semester, successful
students will be able to discuss and analyze fiction in historical and
aesthetic terms and will have an introductory knowledge of the tools of
literary analysis. Since this is a W focus class, students will also spend time
on their writing and will have reflected and developed their writing skills.

Required Texts:

  • William Faulkner, THE SOUND AND THE FURY.
  • Toni Morrison, SONG OF SOLOMON.
  • R. K. Narayan, THE GUIDE.
  • Chinua Achebe, THINGS FALL APART.
  • Don DeLillo, FALLING MAN.
  • Daniel Halpern, THE ART OF THE TALE.