City Lit reading group 2
Time: 12:30 - 14:30
Location: Keeley Street
This course has now started
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What is the course about?
This is not so much a course as a forum for a group of us to share our feelings about and reactions to a selection of contemporary novels. Please come to the first session with suggestions (contemporary fiction in paperback) and having read 'Trust' by Hernan Diaz.
'Trust' was longlisted for the Booker Prize 2022 and is the winner of the 2023 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the Kirkus Prize 2023. The novel is set against the backdrop of turbulent 1920s New York. 'One of the great puzzle-box novels, it’s the cleverest of conceits, wrapped up in a page-turner' – Telegraph
'Trust poses questions of authorship and ownership at every turn: when did wealth become the defining element of every American success story? What values and costs can be ascribed to the “Great Man” theory of history? And to whom do such men owe their greatest debts? If you imagine a brilliantly twisted mix of Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence, Virginia Woolf’s journals, JM Coetzee’s Elizabeth Costello, and Ryan Gosling’s breaking of the fourth wall in The Big Short, you’ll get some sense of the surprising hybrid Diaz has created.' -Jonathan Lee, The Guardian: 29/7/22.
What will we cover?
Each month you will read books chosen by group consensus, considering a range of contemporary fiction, written in English. During the session we will discuss the novel in question by considering various aspects such as theme, plot, characters, etc. We will also discuss how successful we think the author has been in the particular work.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
-read books you might not have considered before
-focus on key points when discussing a literary work
-express your opinion clearly.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
The level of the course is introductory. No previous knowledge or experience of Literature is necessary. However, learners will, ideally, need the following skills and attributes:
An enthusiasm for reading and discussing a range of texts in large and small groups.
A willingness and ability to do some reading and preparation outside the class. You will be expected to read the selected novel for each session.
An interest in, and ability to listen to, the responses of other students to the work discussed.
A commitment to acquiring and developing ways of understanding how the writer uses language to achieve effect.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Each month, the group will select a novel to be read before the following session, when there will be a group discussion on the merits of the book in question.
Monthly meetings take place on 22 Sept, 27 Oct, 01 Dec; 19 Jan, 23 Feb, 22 March, 26 April, 24 May and 28 June 2024.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You will need to read and bring a copy of 'Trust' by Harlan Diaz (Picador, 2022) to the first session.
You will be required to borrow or buy the selected book in paperback for each session.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
We have an online monthly Evening Reading Group on Mondays from 7-8.30pm (HLT173) and Reading Group 1 (HLT06), that meets twice a term on Fridays from 12.30-2.30. Look up other fiction courses under History, Culture & Writing/Literature on the website: www.citylit.ac.uk.
Patricia Sweeney is Programme Coordinator for Literature at City Lit. She has been working in the university and adult education sectors for over 20 years, with specialist teaching interests in American cultural studies, modern and contemporary British and American fiction, drama and film adaptation. In addition to her work at City Lit, Patricia has taught Literature courses for the Open University, Literature, Drama and Film courses for Birkbeck, University of London and contributed to MA and PGCE courses at the Institute of Education, University College London.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.