This course will examine three geographic and imaginative locations which have spawned some of the most original contemporary short fiction: the American South, Ireland, and the meeting of races in the city. The reading list will also include volumes of stories by Flannery O'Connor and Lewis Nordan, Edna O'Brien and William Trevor, and John Edgar Wideman and Toni Cade Bambara. The list is made up of collections, not anthologies, to better understand the writer's voice and development.
We will pay attention to textual matters within individual stories; we will also look at larger issues, drawn from contemporary theoretical work on margins and borders. In order to pay due attention to the stories and to these larger ideas, we will periodically re-read selected stories.
Course requirements include brief weekly papers, a longer final paper, regular attendance and active participation.