Reading Fiction

Voyages inspire literary works; fiction often relies upon metaphors of travel and discovery. This class examines the voyage as a mythic & idea that shapes literary forms and fantasies, tests social, geographical, and historical boundaries, and reckons with a dangerous world. Readings will consider structuring themes of the literary voyage and their consequences: in, for example, the uses of shipwreck (Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, Herman Melville’s Benito Cereno), monsters (Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Toni Morrison’s A Mercy), journeys out (M. Forster’s A Passage to India, Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West), and ambiguous return (Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing, and Mia Heavener’s Under Nushagak Bluff). No passports required.