Reading and Writing Fiction: Lies, Spies & Private Eyes (LIT4537.01)

Manuel Gonzales

By digging into the works of contemporary crime and thriller novelists, we will explore notions of narrative tension, good mystery versus bad mystery, red herrings, unreliable narrators, complex plots, anti-heroes, slick villains, the falsely accused and the downtrodden, not to mention the dark alleyways and the hidden compartments of fiction. How do these authors manipulate the tropes of the genre, how do they subvert them? As readers, how do we become drawn into these twisted, wicked worlds? We’ll then apply what we learn to our own work through in-class writing exercises and see what can be made of these tropes and tools when applied to our own fictions. Over the term, we will read and discuss a number of contemporary novels including American Spy, Bluebird Bluebird, When Will There Be Good News?, Not for Nothing, The Likeness, Drive Your Plow over the Bones of The Dead, Fadeout, and Perfect Spy. (These links are for reference only and do not imply that linked books are required editions of the texts we’ll be reading.) Students will also be responsible for reading and discussing student-submitted work.

All students in Reading and Writing classes are required to attend regular Wednesday night literature events.


Learning Outcomes:



Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: Students must submit a four to five page prose submission by May 6, 2021 to manuelgonzales@bennington.edu. All students may apply for multiple 4000-level Reading and Writing Courses in the same term, but, once accepted, may only enroll in one 4000-level Reading and Writing course per term.
Corequisites: All students in Reading and Writing classes are required to attend regular Wednesday night literature events.
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 4
M/Th 10:00AM - 11:50AM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 15
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: Literature , Fully In-Person , All courses
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