This course is aimed at students who enjoy reading and thinking seriously about the writing of our own era. A modest sampling of significant contemporary English language novelists and poets, the course will center on the ways these writers dramatize personal traumas, moral problems, and the relation of individuals to the social and political order. Other related questions: How do contemporary writers challenge and try to break free of the immense burden of literary tradition? How do they find an authentic personal voice? What is their attitude to questions of form and design? Fiction writers and poets who may be included: Lydia Davis, Louise Gluck, Linda Gregerson, Russell Hoban, Jhumpa Lahiri, Robert Pinksy, Arundhati Roy.