Storytellers: The Narrative in Fiction and Nonfiction Literature
"My vocation is to write stories—invented things or things that I remember from my own life but, in any case, stories," wrote novelist and essayist Natalia Ginzburg. In this nonconference course, we will study approaches to stories about “invented things” and remembered things; in other words, the art and craft of narrative in fiction and nonfiction literature. Readings include craft essays, fiction, nonfiction, and cross-genre work by writers such as Toni Cade Bambara, Walter Benjamin, Roberto Bolaño, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, E. L. Doctorow, Maxine Hong Kingston, Karl Ove Knausgaard, Selah Saterstrom, Leslie Marmon Silko, and Hisaye Yamamoto. Craft elements studied include narrative structure, narrative voice, setting, characterization, and plot. Students write short critical and creative responses to the readings and, at the semester’s end, a reflective essay on how they use narrative in their own creative work.