Literature

Literature Courses in London

Explore our exciting range of Literature courses, from Literary History, to specialist courses in Fiction, Poetry and Drama. We offer introductory and in-depth courses to suit all levels of interest and experience, where you can revisit classic texts and discover new writers.

Study online from the comfort of home, with classes that allow you to participate in discussions with fellow adult students and share your passion for literature as part of a learning community. We offer daytime, evening and weekend courses, both short and long. For more information, please see our guide to online learning.

Our tutors are experts in their fields and experienced educators; many also teach in universities or share their expertise in the media. Tutors share their knowledge and passion for fiction, poetry and drama through presentations, readings, interactive discussion, analysis, and other activities.

Many students return to take more courses, telling us they enjoy being part of our City Lit literary community; others are inspired to progress onto university study.

Our popular courses often sell out quickly, so we invite you to browse and book your place online now.

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  1. The Complete Ishiguro, Part 1: 1980-1999
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 29 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Take a deep dive into the world of Nobel laureate Kazuo Ishiguro, from his early short stories and TV screenplays to the first four novels, including The Remains of the Day (1989). Discover the influences, themes and context that led to the author’s development and explore the styles and techniques through which he expresses his unique vision.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £97.00
  2. 19th Century French and Russian Literature
    Last Few Places, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 1 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This online literature course explores classic shorter texts of 19th century French and Russian literature, discussing literary style, themes and contexts as a way of developing and sharing responses to celebrated European writing. From history and travel to memory and madness, the class tackles some of the finest works ever written. Among the French writers examined will be Balzac, de Nerval and Flaubert, with our Russians including Gogol, Turgenev, Tolstoy and Chekhov.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £127.00 Concession £97.00
  3. America in the 60s: culture and society
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 12 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    The 1960s was the decade that profoundly changed American culture. We explore the trajectory of a decade, including the presidential terms of Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon, Vietnam, the civil rights movement, second wave feminism and radical changes in literature, art, music and film, all reflecting the historical turbulence of 1960s America.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £97.00
  4. New Asian American Literature: Ling Ma, Jenny Zhang, Charles Yu and Ocean Vuong
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 13 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    What is Asian American literature and how has it been defined? In this course we’ll unpack this question whilst exploring some of the most exciting texts which have emerged from this umbrella term in the last couple of years. We will also consider the history and context of Asian American literature as a category, if the texts under discussion share any common themes and whether authors themselves have embraced this label.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £127.00 Concession £97.00
  5. World Fiction: hidden treasures
    Last Few Places, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 15 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Freshly translated or newly rediscovered gems of international writing from the second half of the 20th century, including The Waiting Years by Fumiko Enchi (Japan), Sunlight on a Broken Column by Attia Hosain (India/Britain), Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata, The Coffer Dams by Kamala Markandaya (India/Britain), The Island by Ana Maria Matute (Spain), and The Moon and the Bonfires by Cesare Pavese (Italy).



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £121.00
  6. Great Historical Novels
    Last Few Places, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 21 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Historical fiction is enjoying a boom. Authors are recreating ancient Rome, Tudor England, medieval Europe and Civil War America while writing prequels and sequels to Homer and Jane Austen. We’ll be reading and discussing some classics of the genre from Mary Renault’s admired evocation of ancient Greece The King Must Die to novels by Alice Walker and James Meek and Virginia Woolf’s Orlando.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £121.00
  7. The Victorian novel: Realism and early Modernism
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This is a chance to explore four Victorian texts from the point of view of context, style and the development of the novel through realism into early modernism. Texts will include Adam Bede (George Eliot), Wives and Daughters (Elizabeth Gaskell), Dr jekyll and Mr Hyde (Robert Louis Stevenson) and The Turn of the Screw (Henry James). There will be supplementary critical and biographical material supplied, and plenty of opportunities for discussion! This course will examine the debates which surrounded the development of Victorian fiction and the ways in which different writers sought to engage with these ideas.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £127.00 Concession £97.00
  8. Russian and Eastern European poetry: a survey
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 23 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    A guided tour of the personalities and achievements of the extraordinary constellation of poets that emerged during the Soviet century and its aftermath, including Akhmatova, Pasternak, Mayakovsky and their contemporaries, Milosz, Szymborska, Herbert and Anna Swir (Poland), Popa (Serbia), Holub (Czech Republic), Sorescu, Mircea Ivanescu and Nina Cassian (Romania), and others.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £127.00 Concession £97.00
  9. A Century of Surrealist Literature
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 24 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Did the world need another ‘ism’ when André Breton published the Surrealist Manifesto in 1924? As a splinter movement from Dada, and borrowing its name from a term coined years before by Guillaume Apollinaire, was it even that original? We’ll explore how, despite its inauspicious origins, Surrealism grew to become one of the most influential artistic and literary styles of the 20th century.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £127.00 Concession £97.00
  10. City Lit reading group 1
    Course start date:  Fri 24 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Share thoughts and ideas about what you are reading, with books chosen by the group. Please come to the first session with suggestions (contemporary fiction in paperback) and having read The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. Monthly meetings on 24 Sept; 22 Oct, 26 Nov; 14 Jan, 18 Feb, 25 March; 06 May; 10 June; 08 July.



    Please note: this course will take place in the college but will revert to online if necessary.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £179.00 Senior fee £143.00 Concession £109.00
  11. City Lit reading group 2
    Course start date:  Fri 1 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Share thoughts and ideas about what you are reading, with books chosen by the group. Please come to the first session with suggestions (contemporary fiction in paperback) and having read 'Hamnet' by Maggie O'Farrell. Monthly meetings take place on 01 Oct, 29 Oct, 03 Dec; 21 Jan, 25 Feb, 01 April, 13 May, 17 June and 15 July.



    Please note: this course will take place in the college but will revert to online if necessary.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £179.00 Senior fee £143.00 Concession £109.00

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