Creative Writing Workshop: Fiction and Other Hybrid Forms
This course is a workshop in which students will experiment with writing that bridges some of our usual ideas about genre. Hybrid writing deliberately mixes fictional technique with nonfiction, essay, and lyric. It is the literary form of our time, in which story, wit, and meaning emerge from the collapsing distinction between the fictive and the factual. Hybrid form is variously categorized as fiction, memoir, New Journalism, lyric essay, autobiography, nonfiction novel, prose poetry. It can draw on philosophy, reportage, memoir, scholarship, blogging, and other forms of nonfiction prose, but it's always working with the pleasures and skills associated with fiction and lyric: voice, character, place, language. We'll look at some good practitioners (examples are Lydia Davis, David Foster Wallace, Dave Eggers, Maxine Hong Kingston, Edward P. Jones, Philip Roth) as we focus on questions of finding shape, structure, and art when the old lines of genre have been blurred. The course requires openness to giving and receiving criticism, and is intended to extend the craft possibilities for students working in creative writing. Prerequisites: submission of a writing sample and permission of instructor. Check with the English department administrative assistant for submission deadlines. Offered annually.