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MFA Course Descriptions

IMF 57301
The Literary Novel: Contemporary Fiction

Instructor: Tony D'Souza

Class Type: Literature

Course Description: 

This literature course explores the literary novel, including narrative arc, theme, character, style, and point of view. Critical discussion will focus on the way each component is employed. Students will analyze works from both a literary analysis perspective and a writer’s perspective.

We'll be looking at a really exciting list of novels from the past 20 years, including some very recently released novels. All of the novels for this course will be two hundred pages or less, something of a trend in contemporary publishing: Justin Torres' We The Animals, for example, clocks in at just 140 pages, but took the literary world by storm, won a slew of prizes and more than a little fame for the previously unknown Torres, and was a celebration of language and story in a relatively short novel-style. NY editors have told me that the shorter novel form has attracted attention in recent years because of changing tastes among readers and the wild success of some of these books. Paulo Coehlo's The Alchemist has sold tens of million copies and is considered a modern masterpiece. This manageable length will also allow us to experience a wide range of authors even in the short quarter system. We'll be traversing cultures, genders and voices with authors such as Jamaica Kincaid and Faiza Guene.

Textbooks: 

The Alchemist
Paulo Coehlo
HarperOne 2006
9780061122415

At the Bottom of the River
Jamaica Kincaid
Farrar, Straus & Giroux 2000
9780374527341

Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow
Faiza Guene
Mariner 2006
9780156030489

The Restraint of Beasts
Magnus Mills
Scribner 1999
9780684865119

Dept. of Speculation
Jenny Offill
Vintage 2014
9780345806871

We the Animals
Justin Torres
Mariner 2012
9780547844190

Lindenwood University
209 S. Kingshighway
St. Charles, MO 63301