ENG*220*10 Description

Introduction to Fiction

This course surveys the rich tradition of prose fiction in English (and in translation), with an emphasis on the enduring features of this genre as it evolved throughout the centuries, as well as the innovations introduced by individual writers. Class discussions will include, along with close readings of the works themselves, an appreciation of the historical and cultural contexts out of which they arose. The literary works selected for this course draw upon a variety of fictional forms and styles; however, all of the texts touch on the idea of difference. Nearly all of the protagonists find themselves at odds with their families, communities, cultures and/or societies in which they live. One of the central questions we will contemplate in this course is "How do these characters deal with being different?" We will also consider how they are perceived by others, and how each author uses the trope of difference and otherness to articulate various themes in her/his writing.