L204 2046 CHANEY
Introduction to Fiction

8:00a-9:15a TR (25) 3 CR.

In this course we shall examine a number of acclaimed works of fiction, about twenty short stories, one novella, and three novels, both for their structure (character, point of view, plot, setting, style) and for the thematic questions that they raise. While many of the works that we'll read and discuss are by American authors, the course reading also includes several international authors and covers a broad range of periods and styles.

Student work for the course will be of three types: 1) critically reading the stories and coming to class on the day reading is listed with comments, interpretations, and questions; 2) actively participating in class discussion; 3) critically responding to the readings through seven interpretive writing assignments (3 formal, five-page papers and 4 brief, two-page responses to critical questions that I will provide) for a total of about twenty pages of writing. In addition, students are required to take a mid-term and a final exam (short answer and essay questions) as well as several quizzes in order to demonstrate an understanding of the course reading and major themes.

Because this is an intensive writing course, several class meetings will focus on developing thesis statements, organizing essays, peer reviewing first drafts, and using evidence to complicate and expand initial interpretations. Although classes will sometimes be based on lecture and small group activities, the majority shall be based on discussion of the material; therefore, active attendance and enthusiastic participation are required. Any more than two unexcused absences will result in grade penalties.

Required Texts: James Pickering, ed., Fiction 100; Edith Wharton, Ethan Frome; Gayl Jones, Corregidora; Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient.