English R1A

Reading & Composition: Unreliable Narrators

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
16 Fall 2012 Xiang, Sunny
TTh 2-3:30 305 Wheeler

Book List

Hamid, Mohsin: The Reluctant Fundamentalist; Ishiguro, Kazuo: An Artist of the Floating World; James, Henry: The Turn of the Screw; Johnson, James Weldon: The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man; Nabokov, Vladimir: Lolita

Other Readings and Media

course reader


What happens when the teller of a story misleads us? What qualities make for a palatable narrator that we as readers are willing to follow to the end of the book? In this course, we will read select twentieth-century novels that prompt us to examine the conditions that influence our capacity to trust the storyteller speaking to us. In speculating on the broader effects and implications of these narrators’ unreliability, we will also attempt to complicate our own position as readers.

This course requires you to complete two essays of increasing length. For these papers, you will go through a process of outlining, drafting, editing, and revising to build a repertoire of critical reading and writing skills. You will also be expected to complete short writing assignments and responses.  

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