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Advanced Non-Fiction Writing

ENGL 145.301
instructor(s):
T 2-5

This is a course for anyone wishing to write nonfiction prose intended to appeal to a literary sensibility. All subjects except that of the self--the province of the personal essay, which we will largely ignore--are open. The author may appear in the prose written here, but only incidentally. Our concerns will lie elsewhere.

To familiarize ourselves and to study the form of literary nonfiction, we will use the text *The Art of Fact: An Historic Anthology of Literary Journalism* edited by Ben Yagoda and Kevin Kerrane (to be published August '97). Anyone wishing to do preparatory reading for the course should read generally available anthologies such as *The Best American Essays of 1996* or the nonfiction short works of Tom Woolf, John Updike, Joan Didion, Stanley Elkin, Annie Dillard, Gerald Early, Jane Tompkins, James Baldwin, and others who have written in this vein. In publications such as the *New York Times Magazine* and other "glossies," you will also find writing whose appeal to editors is little more than "literary excellence."

You will be asked to write three pieces of no less than eight pages. At least one of the pieces will be submitted to the workshop for evaluation. During the workshop, one student will act as "editor," whose responsibility will be to thoroughly know the piece at hand, to lead the discussion, and to submit a formal critique of the piece. Class participation is vital.