ENG*221*10 Description

Introduction to Nonfiction

This course explores a creative and rich tradition within the genre of nonfiction writing, autobiography, in arguably its most significant location: the American literary tradition. In addition to surveying some classic texts and critical problems in the tradition of writing about the self, we will focus on more recent autobiographical works that explore the terrain of childhood and coming of age. We will be reading these works both critically and creatively, thinking about issues (childhood, memory, race, gender, identity) and styles of American autobiography, and more broadly, creative nonfiction, as both readers and writers -- in other words, as American autobiographers ourselves. In America, everyone has an autobiography waiting to be written. We will explore that idea in our readings and take it up in our writing.
Course Texts:
Andrews (editor), Classic American Autobiographies
Cary, Black Ice
Kaysen, Girl, Interrupted
Momaday, The Names
Wolff, This Boys' Life