This class will look at the literary strategies of life writing, particularly at the genre of the memoir. We will read and discuss Carmen Maria Machado's memoir of an abusive lesbian relationship, Myriam Gurba's coming of age narrative of her identity conflicts as a Mexican-American, the story of poet Tracy K. Smith told as an entanglement of race and faith, and Maggie Nelson's descriptions of a murder trial. We will explore different literary strategies to put lived events into words, think about concepts such as authenticity and staging and stylistic devices that enhance the notion of the real. Please purchase and read:
- Carmen Maria Machado, In the Dream House (Graywolf Press, 2019)
- Myriam Gurba, Mean (Coffee House Press, 2017)
- Tracy K. Smith, Ordinary Light (Alfred A. Knopf, 2015)
- Maggie Nelson, The Red Parts. Autobiography of a Trial (Vintage, 2007)
All other texts, including literary theory and life writing contexts will be made available on StudIP.