Alice Munro’s winning of the Nobel Prize has helped elevate the short story to a new level of regard. Not simply a poor cousin of the novel, the short story is an exquisitely demanding form in its own right, combining the compression of poetry with the psychological range usually associated with much longer works.
In this seminar students will study a variety of short stories, with the aim of writing stories of their own. We will focus on such authors as Chekhov, Lawrence, Hemingway, Gordimer, Gallant, Munro, and Atwood, as well as some exciting newer talents, among them Junot Diaz and Lorrie Moore. We’ll also examine many technical issues including structure, the life of sentences and the handling of time, as well as the unique demands of the short story form.
Students will complete a few in-class exercises and take-home assignments, but the main project for the semester will be to write a short story. Consultations with the instructor will be an important part of this process, mirroring the relationship that professional writers have with their editors.
Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)