Course Description

IN PERSON: William Faulkner’s well-known quotation about the past being neither dead nor past could have been written about the novels of Octavia Butler and Toni Morrison. Published within 10 years of each other, "Kindred" (1979) and "Beloved" (1987) continue to fascinate readers, provoke controversy and highlight parts of America’s history that, while easy to minimize or ignore, continue to affect the present. In different ways, Butler and Morrison imaginatively reconfigure the 19th-century slave narrative and create complicated characters and unforgettable situations. We will scrutinize the ways both novels are crafted and examine themes such as the individual and collective trauma of enslavement, the idea of memory and history, the role of community, and issues involving race, gender and privilege. Morrison’s belief that art is a collaboration between the writer and the reader serves as the bedrock of this course, as we work together to uncover and discover new things about these powerful novels. | Facilitated discussion.

Max enrollment: 14.

Location: Judea Reform Congregation, 1933 W. Cornwallis Rd, Durham NC 27705

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