English 203

Graduate Readings: American Genres

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
4 Fall 2018 Serpell, C. Namwali
TTh 2-3:30 180 Barrows

Book List

Baum, L. Frank: The Wizard of Oz; Cain, James: The Postman Always Rings Twice; Crichton, Michael: Jurassic Park; Highsmith, Patrica: The Talented Mr Ripley; King, Stephen: Carrie; L'Engle, Madeleine: A Wrinkle in Time; Lovecraft, H.P.: The Complete Fiction; Ludlum, Robert: The Bourne Identity; Machado, Carmen Maria: Her Body & Other Parties; Portis, Charles: True Grit; Slim, Iceberg: Pimp: The Story of My Life; Steel, Danielle: The Gift; Tan, Amy: Joy Luck Club; Walker, Alice: The Color Purple


We’ll discuss canonical works of American genre fiction, except for the one genre we usually read: “literary fiction.” Our genres include: children’s lit, YA, spy thriller, fantasy, science fiction, magical realism, noir, crime fiction, neo-slave narrative, weird, western, and horror. While we’ll dip into scholarship along the way, our primary aim will be to use the novels to generate our own theories. Two essays. One novel or two novellas a week, but they're all page turners!

NB: I won't be ordering books at the Cal bookstore but for the first two: Baum's The Wizard of Oz and Lovecraft's Complete Fiction

This course satisfies the Group 5 (Twentieth Century) requirement.

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