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. City Lit reading group 3
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 25 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Lewis Ward
    Share thoughts and ideas about novels on the theme of ‘visions of the near future’. Please come to the first



    session having read ‘Bewilderment’ by Richard Powers (shortlisted for the 2021 Booker Prize) and 'The Every' by Dave Eggers for our second session. Monthly meetings take place on 25 Oct and 29 Nov.
    Full fee £29.00 Senior fee £29.00 Concession £19.00
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. Exploring London: the city in writing
    Course start date:  Thu 12 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Kate Wilkinson
    Come and explore London in writing! This course introduces you to a variety of fiction and non-fiction from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. We’ll discover different voices and perspectives about the city,exploring writers’ narrative techniques and the social context of novels, essays and journalism.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £110.00
  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. London ‘lowlife’ in fiction: 1889-1907
    Course start date:  Fri 20 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Sarah Wise
    We will explore the themes of poverty, politics, gender and ethnicity in London at the end of the 19th century/start of the 20th century through the eyes of writers of fiction, but also through the testimony of their non-fiction contemporaries – social investigators, government officials, journalists and philanthropists.
    Full fee £179.00 Senior fee £143.00 Concession £116.00
  10. 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
  11. Twentieth Century British Fiction
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 31 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Lewis Ward
    On this course, we will trace the development of the British novel in the second half of the twentieth century through influential examples by Elizabeth Bowen, Iris Murdoch, J.G. Ballard and Julian Barnes. Our journey will include elements of spy fiction, existentialist thought, prophetic dystopia and an audacious attempt to write the history of the world in just ten and half chapters.
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £139.00 Concession £90.00
  12. 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
  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. The present and the past in historical fiction: Sara Collins, Pat Barker and Maggie O'Farrell
    Course start date:  Thu 4 May 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Kate Wilkinson
    Why are we drawn to historical fiction? What do we want to discover? This course investigates historical fiction written in the twenty-first century and how it reimagines past societies for contemporary readers. Reading novels and selected extracts, we’ll explore the strategies, pleasures and challenges of historical fiction: how it can bring unknown lives into the light and ask us to think again about the present. Includes The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O’Farrell, The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins and The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £110.00

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