Contemporary Writers and Their Work - ENG 350

Tuesdays & Thursdays, 4:15-5:35 p.m., SS 256

Professor Donald W. Faulkner
e-mail: dwf@poppa.fab.albany.edu

Office Hours: 3:30-4:30 p.m. & by appointment, HU 355


This is a lecture survey of contemporary literature presented in conjunction with the New York State Writers Institute Fall 1997 Visiting Writers Series. All of the writers studied will be appearing at the University, and most will have a session talking with the class. Class visits will begin close to 4 pm. Books required for the course are available at the University Bookstore. There will also be a photocopy packet of materials available after the second week of classes. Students are strongly urged to attend the evening public readings by the visiting writers.

The course lectures will focus on each author's style and technique with an orientation to getting students to learn to read as writers. There is a lot of reading for the course, but it is good reading, and students are expected to complete the reading assignments by the day for which they are assigned.

There will be an in-class midterm and a final exam.

Schedule of Readings and Meetings

9/2 First meeting: Course Logistics and a Literary Overview

9/4 Tobias Wolff, This Boys Life: sections Fortune, Uncool

9/9 This Boys Life: Citizenship in School

9/11 This Boys Life: Amen Corner, Amen, & possibly short stories from the reading packet

9/16 Tobias Wolff talks with class 4pm, evening reading, Recital Hall, 8pm

9/18 Steven Millhauser, The Barnum Museum: A Game of Clue

9/23 The Barnum Museum: The Barnum Museum, The 8th Voyage of
Sinbad

9/25 The Barnum Museum: Alice Falling, The Invention of Robert Herendeen, Eisenheim the Illusionist, & from the reading packet, A Visit. / 8pm Page Hall, Steven Millhauser reading

9/30 A James Salter Preview (Salter will appear on December 4), A Sport and a Pastime, ch. 1-8, selections from Light Years, Solo Faces, and Recollections in the reading packet

10/7 A Sport and a Pastime, ch. 9-37

10/9 Barbara Fischkin & Mayra Montero, selections from Muddy Cup and The Palm of Darkness in the reading packet

10/14 Barbara Fischkin & Mayra Montero talk with the class 4pm, evening reading, Recital Hall, 8pm

10/16 Blanche McCrary Boyd, The Redneck Way of Knowledge, pp-l76; also, Hunter S. Thompson on the Kentucky Derby in the reading packet

10/21 The Redneck Way of Knowledge, pp. 77-160, selection from Terminal Velocity in the reading packet

10/23 Blanche McCrary Boyd talks with the class 4pm, evening reading, 8pm Recital Hall

10/28 MIDTERM EXAM/ Amos Oz reads 8pm Page Hall

10/30 Amos Oz, Under This Blazing Light, selected essays; Black Box, pp. 1-71

11/4 Black Box, pp. 72-149

11/6 Black Box, pp. 149-259, guest lecture by Mark Koplick on Oz

11/11 Don DeLillo: opening of Underworld from reading packet, & Part 1 White Noise

11/12 Special Session 4pm Recital Hall: DeLillo talks about his work; evening reading 8pm Page Hall

11/13 White Noise Parts 2&3

11/18 Jessica Hagedorn talks with class 4pm, evening reading 8pm, Recital Hall, Dogeaters, pp.1-54

11/20 Dogeaters, pp. 55-117

11/25 NO CLASS

12/2 Dogeaters, pp.117-251

12/4 James Salter talks with class 4pm, evening reading 8pm Recital Hall, review Salter's work from earlier in term

12/9 Course Review and Summation

Exam Week: FINAL EXAM