Fiction writers are masters of the art of deception. They lie all the time. It should come as no surprise, then, that some of their most enduring (and sometimes endearing) characters are themselves liars, swindlers, rogues, and criminals. This course will introduce you to European and Latin American fiction through a selection of its most memorable lowlifes. We will examine how novels, short stories, graphic novels, and films use these outsiders and their transgressions to challenge societal norms and structures, particularly economic inequality, patriarchy, colonialism, and racism. Some of the works we will analyze and discuss are the Lazarillo de Tormes, Voltaire’s Candide, Machado de Assis’s The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas, Jorge Luis Borges’s A Universal History of Infamy, Gabriel García Márquez’s Chronicle of a Death Foretold, and Clarice Lispector’s The Hour of the Star. Class projects will include the opportunity for students to create—using various media—their own lowlife characters.