Writing About Literature

When the short-story writer Alice Munro won the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature, she expressed her “hope [that] this would make people see the short story as an important art, not just something you played around with until you got a novel.” In this class, we’ll take Munro at her word and read a variety of short stories by such writers as Alice Munro, Penelope Fitzgerald, Raymond Carver, John Cheever, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Junot Diaz. Of course reading stories for the sheer pleasure of reading them is one thing; thinking about what they might mean is another; expressing those thoughts in writing is a third matter. In this class, we’ll be doing all three. Our goal will be to increase enjoyment in reading and in understanding, as well as to feel more confident in the ability to express oneself effectively, efficiently, and gracefully.