In this course students will read autobiographical fragments that reveal a whole gamut of possibilities, from carefully documented memories to novelistic elaboration to wholescale invention. The real work of the course, however, will be creative. Students will explore their own lives through various devices and discover that the truth is never elemental but can be released through literary strategies. During the semester each student will write either one long autobiographical piece or three shorter ones.
Sample reading list:
Henry James, A Small Boy and Others
Gertrude Stein, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas
Marcel Proust, On Reading
Benvenuto Cellini, Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini
Mary Karr, The Liars Club
James Frey, A Million Little Pieces
See instructor for complete list
During the semester each student will write either one long autobiographical piece or three shorter ones.
Prerequisites and Restrictions:
Interested students should complete an application and include a writing sample of 3-4 pages of prose. Prerequisite: One 200-level fiction course.
Individual conferences are scheduled at intervals during the semester. There are no exams. Grading: Attendance is mandatory.