Short Story Club (6 Week Course)
The novel may reign supreme in the battle of literary genres, but the short story is making a comeback as an important contemporary art-form. Recently, The New York Times’ Decameron Project has brought a heightened sense of timeliness to short prose, offering exceptional expressions for our shared experiences of Life (and love) in the Time of COVID. The best short stories leave us with a strong emotional response and a sense of awe at how quickly and masterfully a deft writer can create a world and connect us to its characters. They also offer a particularly sharpened insight into cultural and historical wavelengths. In this class, we’ll read an array of short stories that unite the Victorian, modern, and contemporary moments, seeking to understand what unifies cultures across space and time. How do genre and culture converge to shape the stories we tell and the way we tell them? Each week, Professor Richardson will provide a background for the authors and relevant historical/critical context, as well as a series of questions to guide this interactive, discussion-based course. Participation is encouraged but optional. See the list below for readings (weeks 2-6 are subject to change before Nov. 4). Please read the first two stories before attending the first class. You will be provided with links or pdfs for every story.
Live Zoom Meeting.
6 Week Class ScheduleWeek 1—Wednesday, November 4 | 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM | Poe, “The Masque of the Red Death”; Atwood, “Impatient Griselda”
Week 2—Wednesday, November 11 | 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM | Adichie, “Birdsong”; Trevor, “After Rain”
Week 3—Wednesday, November 18 | 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM | Hemingway, “The Killers”; Baldwin, “Going to Meet the Man”
Skipping November 25
Week 4—Wednesday, December 2 | 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM | Elliott, “Hellion”; Liu, “The Paper Menagerie”
Week 5—Wednesday, December 9 | 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM | Mona Awad, “A Blue Sky Like This”; Virginia Woolf, “The Mark on the Wall”
Week 6—Wednesday, December 16 | 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM | Carver, “Cathedral”; Hempel, “In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson Is Buried”
Price is per student. Class tuition is non-refundable.