We will explore how novels work, asking what they do to us and for us. Why are some narrators unreliable, withholding or confused while others "know" everything? Why do the delays and frustrations of plots please readers rather than annoy them? How do characters come to seem like "real people"? Why do some "real people" seem like literary characters? How is history re-imagined in novels, and how do the resolutions of fiction differ from those of history? How do readers "write" novels as they read? How do novels change us? Can they change the world? Critical works may include R. BArthes, S/Z; F. Jameson, The Political Unconscious; Mary Poovey, Uneven Developments; E. Said, Culture and Imperialism; E. Sedgwick, The Epistemology of the Closet. Novels may include Austen, Persuasion; Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway; Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man; Kincaid, Autobiography of My Mother.