English | Recent Writing
L381 | 2226 | Upadhyay
L381 2226 UPADHYAY
12:20p-1:10p MWF (30) 3 CR.
Topic: Contemporary Short Story
In this course we will examine contemporary short stories from
around the world. We will study the short story's formal structures
as a genre, how it sets up, in its trail, a number of expectations,
and how it either fulfills them or jeopardizes them. The short story
is a popular form in the US, partly because it is short, and partly
because it comes to us in a rich American tradition. So, part of our
focus here will be on contemporary American short story, and we'll
pay special attention to the "renaissance" in the genre that came
with the publication of Raymond Carver's fiction.
I've arranged a large part of the reading material under various
themes such as re-imagining the family, encountering the Other, and
the quest for spirituality--themes that I believe stress some of the
major concerns of contemporary short story writers. Apart from an
anthology of short fiction (Halpern's The Art of the Story), which
will give us a solid indication of what's happening with the short
story globally, we'll also look at some collections of short
stories, which may include William Trevor's After Rain, Jhumpa
Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies, and Dan Chaon's Among the Missing,
reflecting a variety of styles and concerns of the form. We'll also
read some theories of the short story, both by writers--the
practitioners of the form--and by critics--those who don't write in
the form but still have important and astute observations to make
about the form.
Course assignments include heavy commitment toward class discussion,
group presentations, one five-page critical essay, and a final 10
page critical or creative essay.