Course Description

IN PERSON: The novella is a strange fictional breed. The one definition on which literary critics agree is its length: narrative fiction that is shorter than a novel and longer than a short story. Saddled with labels like the Goldilocks or no man’s land of fiction and often underestimated, the novella in the hands of a master writer offers the reader unexpected rewards. Its comparative brevity forces writers to be judicious with their diction and maintain a laser focus on the characters and conflicts to achieve an intensity often lacking in shorter or longer works. We will consider the challenges of this genre and examine five novellas by classic and contemporary writers. On subjects ranging from the ordinary (an Irish coal man makes deliveries) to the extraordinary (a man awakens to find he has turned into a giant insect) to the fanciful (Queen Elizabeth stumbles upon a lending library outside of Buckingham Palace), these works lend themselves to thoughtful analysis and spirited discussion. | Facilitated discussion.

Max enrollment: 12.

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

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Section Title
A Study of Five Novellas
Classroom - In Person
11:00AM to 12:30PM
Apr 30, 2024 to Jun 04, 2024
Schedule and Location
Contact Hours
Delivery Options
Classroom - In Person  
Course Fees
Section Notes

Editions of “Recitatif,” “Benito Cereno” and “The Metamorphosis” can be found online at no cost and may be used instead of the editions listed below as required texts.

Required reading:
Herman Melville, "Benito Cereno" (9781480255319)
Claire Keegan, "Small Things Like These" (9780571368709)
Alan Bennett, "Uncommon Reader" (9781250907738)
Toni Morrison, "Recitatif" (9780593315033)
Recommended reading:
Claire Keegan, "Foster" (9780571379149)

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