Theory and Craft of Writing

W680 — Spring 2017

Samrat Upadhyay
Woodburn Hall 205
Days and Times
9:30a-10:45a TR
Course Description

In this course we will explore the form of the novel, mostly by writing it but also by reading—in part or whole—novels of varied styles, as well as Jane Smiley’s 13 Ways of Looking at the Novel as a guide to the form. Each student will workshop an entire novel, albeit a short one (about 75-100 pages) in deference to the semester’s time limitation. You may also be asked to do a presentation on a novel that has inspired you and might serve as your model.

The novel is a challenging form but also an exciting one. While this course presupposes that you come with a basic mastery of the writing craft, it doesn’t require you to have written a novel before. Poets and short story writers welcome!

I will upload various novel chapters/section on Canvas by a number of writers, and we’ll also read selected novels from this list:

  • Cormac McCarthy, The Road
  • Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day
  • Zora Neal Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God
  • Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale
  • Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea
  • Mohsin Hamid, The Reluctant Fundamentalist
  • Sarah Hall, Daughters of the North
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
  • Fuminori Nakamura, The Thief
  • Walter Mosley, Walking the Dog
  • Ha Jin, Waiting
  • Shawna Yang Ryan, Water Ghosts
  • Padma Viswanathan, The Ever After of Ashwin Rao

Students in the Creative Writing Program please contact Bev Hankins, to enroll. Other students, please email Samrat Upadhyay a note describing your qualification and experience as a fiction writer.

Interested in this course?

The full details of this course are available on the Office of the Registrar website.

See complete course details