Trouble in paradise: the American suburban novel

Course Dates: 02/06/20 - 07/07/20
Time: 12:30 - 14:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street
Tutors:

The American suburb was supposed to be a kind of haven – an oasis of marital calm and tranquillity. It didn’t always turn out that way…Trouble in Paradise explores three books that probe the darkness behind the picket fence and manicured lawn: John Updike’s Rabbit Run, Anne Tyler’s The Amateur Marriage and Ira Levin’s The Stepford Wives.

Description

What is the course about?

We’ll be comparing three novels depicting the desires, dreams and frustrations of marriage and family in suburban America: John Updike’s classic Rabbit Run, Anne Tyler’s ambitious The Amateur Marriage and Ira Levin’s brilliant shocker The Stepford Wives.

Tutor biography
Julian Birkett is a teacher and writer specialising in modern literature. He previously worked in the Arts department at the BBC as a producer of series such as The Late Show, Modern Poets in their Own Words, The Victorians and The Culture Show. He has taught in London and at the University of Mumbai.

What will we cover?

The American dream in the 20thC, fictional representations of the suburb, male and female perspectives, literary genre, among others.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

• Recognise recurring themes in 20th century fiction
• Relate these to the wider world of Western culture
• Feel confident enough to explore further study of related fiction on your own.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

The course is introductory. An enthusiasm for reading and discussion is all that is required.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Each week we’ll read and discuss a text in detail.

The course is an interactive mixture of tutor exposition and class discussion. Videos and clips will also be shown and discussed where applicable. You will asked to read the texts before the class.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Students will need to buy or borrow these editions:

The Amateur Marriage (Vintage)
Rabbit, Run (Penguin Modern Classics)
The Stepford Wives (Corsair; intro by Chuck Palahniuk)

Apart from the reading material, you should bring with you pens, notepaper and file in which to store handouts and other course materials.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Have a look at other literature courses listed under History, Culture and Writing on our website at www.citylit.ac.uk.

Reviews
Tutor Biographies
Julian Birkett

Julian Birkett is a teacher and writer specialising in modern literature. He previously worked in the Arts department at the BBC as a producer of series such as The Late Show, Modern Poets in their Own Words, The Victorians and The Culture Show. He has taught in London and at the University of Mumbai.He aims to create a friendly but thoughtful atmosphere in his City Lit classes and to provide a stimulating variety of activities from tutor input to discussion to group work and video clips.

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.

Book your place

Course Code: HLT54

Tue, day, 02 Jun - 07 Jul '20

Duration: 6 sessions (over 6 weeks)

Full fee: £119.00
Senior fee: £95.00
Concession: £52.00

Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

Download form & post

Any questions? humanities@citylit.ac.uk
or call 020 7492 2652

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online Help Center. You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.