This is a course about a phoenix art--the contemporary American novel. Proclaimed dead in the 1960s, it has risen from
its ashes to become one of the most vigorous of the arts anywhere in the world. From the"metanovels" of Thomas Pynchon, John Barth and John Hawkes to the hallucinatory realism of Norman Mailer, Gloria Naylor, Philip Roth, and Michael Herr to the imaginative brilliance of Toni Morrison and Marilyn Robinson, the past few decades have seen more than their share of masterworks.
In addition to particular novels, the class will discuss issues such as ethnicity in literature, postmodernism, feminism, pornography, and historicism. Two 5-page analyses of individual novels and one 15-page research paper on a problem or movement will be required.