English | Introduction to Fiction
L204 | 0249 | Alyce Miller

2:35p-3:50p D (25) 3 cr.


This is a lively and challenging introductory literature course with an intensive writing component (please note this is not a creative writing class). L204 will offer you practice in (a) reading fiction more closely and thoughtfully, (b) developing sound ideas based on close readings, and (c) learning to write critically and thoughtfully about fiction in the form of short response papers and two 5-page formal papers. In addition, there will also be a midterm and a final exam. We most likely will examine and discuss four or five major forms of fiction: the short-short story, the short story, the novella (or long story), the novel, and possibly the novel-in-stories. I have chosen some of my favorite works to share with you. Please don't underestimate the amount of work involved, and keep in mind that there is a lot of reading and writing in the class. You are strongly encouraged not to take this as an over-load in the compressed six-week summer school period. Keep in mind this is not a basic writing class. Class members should already be familiar with the basics of planning, drafting, writing, revising, and proofreading a paper at the university level. We will continue to reinforce these skills in this class. This is not a lecture class, and discussions, with full class participation and daily attendance, are an important component. Thoughtful preparation is not only expected but will also enhance our time together. Class will meet daily and students must be willing to participate fully and commit to approximately two hours (sometimes more, sometimes less) of reading (depends on how fast you read) and writing a night. Expect daily writing assignments to help build your confidence for the papers. We will most likely read a range of works by more familiar writers like Marilynne Robinson, Gloria Naylor, John Updike, James Joyce, and Anton Chekhov, as well as some stories by very current writers like Junot Diaz, Thomas Glave, and A. J. Verdelle you may not be familiar with. You are encouraged to visit my home page for more general info on course policies and related material: http://php.indiana.edu/~almiller/