Instructor: Prof. Ed Rivers

This course studies modern American writers writing about their own lives, and students will have a chance to do their own personal writing. Texts will include not only autobiography and memoir but also fiction based on the writer’s own life. We will study essays and stories by Norah Zeale Hurston, Amy Tan, Maxine Hong Kingston, Nancy Mairs, James Baldwin, Richard Rodriquez, Loren Eiseley, and E. B. White plus three longer works: Vladimir Nabokov’s Speak. Memory (often cited as one of the best modern autobiographies); Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (a landmark in modern American nature writing); and Tobias Wolff's This Boy's Life (the book behind the film of the same name starring Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio). In discussing This Boy's Life, we will also study the film version and consider the problems of turning personal writing into film. Requirements (subject to change): five short papers (2-3 pages), including (if the student so chooses) at least one piece of original personal writing; mid-term; final. For further information, contact the instructor:

Requisites: Restricted to students with 57-180 credits (Juniors or Seniors).
Additional Information:Arts Sci Gen Ed: Distribution-Arts Humanities
Departmental Category: American Literature