Reading and Writing: the First Novel (LIT4282.01)

Benjamin Anastas

Some writers are born gradually over a body of work that allows them to develop a signature style and a series of concerns that will flower over time, while other writers are seemingly born complete–like Athena emerging whole from Zeus’s head–with their first novels. We will read a wide selection of remarkable first novels over the term (examples include Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson, The Moviegoer by Walker Percy, Edinburgh by Alexander Chee, Near to the Wild Heart by Clarice Lispector, Go Tell It On the Mountain by James Baldwin, The Comforters by Muriel Spark, The Street by Ann Petry, Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates), and students will write–and workshop–frequent creative exercises designed to help them launch their own first novels.

Learning Outcomes:
To gain comfort performing close critical readings of literary fiction written in different time periods and employing divergent styles.
To write a clear, well-structured critical responses to the readings.
To undertake a novel of your own and receive feedback in at least two workshops.
To develop a sophisticated critical vocabulary for offering feedback on peers' fiction, both in workshop itself and in written comments.

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: Students interested in this class should submit a writing sample (preferably a piece of fiction over 5 pp.) using this form by November 24. You will be notified of acceptance by November 29, 2023.
Corequisites: All students in 4000-level literature classes are required to attend Wednesday evening literature events.
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 4
T 2:10PM - 5:50PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 15
Course Frequency: Every 2-3 years

Categories: 4000 , All courses , Four Credit , Fully In-Person , Literature
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