At the 10A hour with Professor Sharlet
This course offers students an overview of the conventions, genres and techniques of narrative-nonfiction writing. The class proceeds by means of group workshops on student writing, individual conferences with the instructor, and analysis of classic works of literary nonfiction. Prerequisite: English 80 and permission of the instructor. Please pick up the form titled "How To Apply for English 81, 82 or 83" from the English Department and answer all of the questions asked in a cover letter. Students should submit a five-to-eight-page writing sample to the administrative assistant of the English Department by the last day of the term preceding the term in which they wish to enroll. Dist: ART. CA tag Creative Writing. No Course Group designation.
This term, English 83 will be offered as "Ordinary Extraordinary" by Professor Sharlet
"Ordinary Extraordinary" is a creative writing workshop in the mutant genre known variously as creative nonfiction, literary journalism, and the lyric essay—the art of telling stories rooted in fact, using the techniques of fiction and poetry. While this writing sometimes brings news, as in the best of magazines such as The New Yorker and Harper's or radio such as This American Life, it is not "about" news. It's about the story. In the Winter '13 offering of 83.1, Intermediate Creative Writing, we'll concentrate on stories drawn not from the headlines but from everyday life, "full of reality, full of illusion," as a pioneer of the genre, Walt Whitman, put it. The revelation of this writing is that of the extraordinary within the ordinary, the astonishing true stories all around and within us, awaiting our perception and narration. Writing is intimately linked to reading in this course. Alongside your own experiments you'll encounter new and forgotten geniuses of the genre—Katherine Boo, John Jeremiah Sullivan, Zora Neale Hurston, Ben Hecht and others—for you to mimic, mock, steal from or pay tribute to as you develop your own voice as a writer of the real.