Fiction - Keeley Street

Fiction Literature Courses
Study online & in London

From Dante to DeLillo, revisit classic literature texts and enjoy discovering new writers and adaptations plus share your views in lively classroom discussions.

Courses available both in-person and online

We offer a range of courses allowing you to choose between online and in-person learning. All our courses are live, interactive, and taught by expert tutors. No matter how you prefer to learn, you’ll receive the same great City Lit experience. See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online courses.

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  1. Ways into advanced fiction, poetry and drama: nineteenth century voices
    Course start date:  Wed 12 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Hugh Epstein, Patricia Sweeney
    Explore the rewards of close reading analysis, focusing on the three main literary genres of fiction,



    poetry and drama. Read, analyse and debate British, European and American works from different periods of time, including The Awakening(1899) by Kate Chopin, Hedda Gabler(1891) by Henrik Ibsen, and poetry by Robert Browning, Elizabeth Barratt Browning, Matthew Arnold, Alfred Tennyson, and Christina Rossetti.
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £109.00 Concession £71.00
  2. 1922-2022: 100 years of Ulysses, 100 years of Irish independence
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 15 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Niall Culligan
    The year 2022 marks the anniversary of two major events in Irish history: the gaining of independence and the publication of James Joyce’s Ulysses. These two events are linked in many ways and when considered together offer a fascinating insight into Irish society. In this course, we will attempt to make Ulysses more approachable by examining how it was influenced by political events in Ireland.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £59.00
  3. French and Russian short stories
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 3 Nov 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Richard Niland
    This class explores classic short stories from 19th century French and Russian literature, discussing literary style, themes, and contexts as a way of developing and sharing responses to celebrated European writing. Among the French writers examined will be Balzac, Flaubert, and Maupassant, with our Russians including Gogol, Turgenev, and Chekhov.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £64.00
  4. Great American Stories
    Course start date:  Mon 9 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Julian Birkett
    The short story is America’s outstanding literary form. The explosion of magazines in the 19th century led to a huge market in stories “to be taken down with a gulp.” Many of its greatest writers specialised in the form – including Ernest Hemingway, Raymond Carver, James Baldwin, John Cheever, William Faulkner and Lorrie Moore – and made it a vivid barometer of American life.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £142.00
  5. Paper Secrets: letters in novels from Julian Barnes to Tayari Jones
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 10 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Kate Wilkinson
    Would you ever open other people’s letters? This contemporary fiction course invites you to read intimate correspondence over characters’ shoulders, to piece together the stories of long-forgotten letters, and to watch stolen letters set comic and catastrophic events in motion. We’ll study four absorbing novels in detail, exploring ideas about memory, time and communication, and discovering how letters are tangled up in them all. Includes



    Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending (2011), Claire Fuller, Swimming Lessons (2017), Denis Thériault, The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman (2017) and Tayari Jones, An American Marriage (2018).
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £139.00 Concession £90.00
  6. Families, feuds and fictions
    Course start date:  Tue 10 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Julian Birkett
    “When a writer is born into a family, the family is finished.” - Polish Nobel laureate Czeslaw Milosz; “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” - Leo Tolstoy







    Unsurprisingly, novelists have always gravitated towards the dramatic potential of dysfunctional families, , and some of the finest novels of modern times have explored the tensions, disappointments (even occasional joys) of family life.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £142.00
  7. South Asian fictions
    Course start date:  Wed 11 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Aamer Hussein
    Explore contemporary and historical stories about one of the most creatively fertile regions of the world, written in English by novelists with a strong British connection. Includes: A God in Every Stone by Kamila Shamsie (Pakistan), The Book of Golden Leaves by Mirza Waheed Kashmir), Friend of my Youth by Amit Chaudhuri (India), How To Get Filthy Rich in Modern Asia by Mohsin Hamid (Pakistan), and Sunlight on a Broken Column by Attia Hosain (India).
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £142.00
  8. Get together and read
    Course start date:  Thu 29 Sep 2022 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Claire Allen
    Enjoy talking with other people about the things you have read? Want to share great stories, poems and drama? Come along and join the conversation. The group is led by a shared reading practitioner trained by The Reader Organisation.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £50.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  9. Rise of the novel in the 18th century
    Course start date:  Fri 20 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Megan Beech
    Explore the dynamic evolution of fiction throughout the 18th century, from the island life of Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe to the bold formal experimentation of Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy. The course will also consider the role of women in the form and the factors in 18th Century society which contributed to the formation and enduring popularity of literature’s most well-known and widely read form.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £169.00
  10. Ways into magic realism
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 28 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Kate Wilkinson
    A baby’s spiteful ghost knocks over boiling pans; a ten-year-old boy sees into hearts and minds; a refugee opens a door into another country… In magical realist fiction, real-world events take unexpected turns into the fabulous and fantastical, asking us to think again about what we know.







    On this course we’ll read a selection of magical realist writing, including work by Salman Rushdie, Toni Morrison and Mohsin Hamid, as an introduction to this fascinating genre.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  11. What's the Big Idea?: classic and contemporary short stories
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 22 Sep 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Richard Niland
    Read and discuss celebrated short stories each week for six weeks – discuss and explore what we understand might be the writers’ intentions, and what it means for us as readers – which can be quite different. Join us in sharing feelings about, and reactions to, a selection of classic and contemporary short stories and how they withstand the shifting context of readers, and time.
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £111.00 Concession £90.00
    Rating:
    95% of 100
  12. Borderlines of Madness in 19th century fiction
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 18 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Sarah Wise
    We will explore various themes related to insanity and altered states of consciousness by examining a number of 19th-century works of fiction. Novelists and poets often had the greatest insights into the workings of the mind, and many Victorian psychiatrists cited works of fiction in their case studies. Among the authors we will cover are Charlotte Bronte, Edgar Allan Poe, Wilkie Collins, Gogol, Herman Melville and Charlotte Perkins Gilman.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £55.00 Concession £45.00
  13. Writing Modern Britain: 1990-2020
    Course start date:  Tue 25 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Julian Birkett
    British society is changing in profound, exciting, and sometimes unsettling ways - and a new generation of writers have been exploring, dramatizing and reflecting on it, focusing on shifts in power, money, race, sex and the coming of globalisation. We’ll be reading novels and stories by some of the best of these writers, including Hanif Kureishi, Kamila Shamsie and others.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £142.00
  14. Hidden Treasures: rediscovered classics
    Course start date:  Wed 26 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Aamer Hussein
    Join us to read and discuss freshly translated or newly rediscovered gems of international writing from the second half of the 20th century, including ‘After Midnight’ by Irmgard Keun (1937, Germany) and ‘All our Yesterdays' by Natalia Ginzburg (1952, Italy).
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £142.00
  15. American Gothic: the darker side of fiction
    Course start date:  Tue 20 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Julian Birkett
    Explore and discuss the work of great 19th and 20th century writers such as Hawthorne. Melville, Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson and Flannery O’Connor – and learn about the dark streak that runs through so much of the best American literature.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £142.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100

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