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Autofiction in the 21st Century: From Ferrante to Knausgaard

This course will examine the phenomenon of autofiction, a recent literary trend in which the author appears as a character and the reader experiences the novel as a space between fiction and fact. We will examine autofiction’s cultural and psychological implications, as well as its origins. These books will take us from a corporate workplace in Japan to a high school in Kansas to the home of a Harlem preacher. Readings will include James Baldwin, Go Tell It on the Mountain; Héctor Abad Faciolince, Oblivion; Elena Ferrante, The Lying Life of Adults; Rachel Cusk, Outline; Alex Miller, The Passage of Love; Amélie Nothomb, Fear and Trembling; Ocean Vuong, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous; Ben Lerner, The Topeka School; Jenny Offill, Dept. of Speculation; and Karl Ove Knausgaard, Autumn.

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You'll Walk Away with

  • An understanding of autofiction as a literary trend
  • Familiarity with some of prominent examples of fictionalized autobiography

Ideal for

  • All members of the community—working, retired, and in between
  • Readers with an interest in contemporary literature
NO open sections available for this course at the moment. Please check back next semester.