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LIT 197 A — The Contemporary American Short Story

Quarter: Winter
Day(s): Thursdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Jan 12—Mar 16
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Jan 14
Units: 2
Tuition: $520
Instructor(s): Michael Krasny
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Open
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Jan 12—Mar 16
10 weeks
Refund Date
Jan 14
2 Units
Michael Krasny
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
This course focuses on American short stories published from 1945 to the present with a selection of accomplished writers of the period, including highly iconic and widely anthologized writers as well as writers who are important but rarely taught. We will examine major themes and also concentrate on stylistics and craft. What elements culturally link American writers who emerge from diverse backgrounds but come from the same zeitgeist? Why do certain storytellers from this period affect literate readers so strongly, and how do we judge or evaluate who belongs in the pantheon? Class sessions will include lecture and discussion. Emphasis will be on close readings and textual analysis. We will read and discuss a wide range of contemporary American fiction, including selections by major figures such as Shirley Jackson, Flannery O’Connor, John Cheever, Raymond Carver, Sherman Alexie, and Don DeLillo, and lesser-known but important figures, including Tillie Olsen, James Purdy, Ernest J. Gaines, John Gardner, Leonard Michaels, Frank Chin, and Alice Adams.

For students who have previously taken the course, the structure is the same but the content is new. Past students are encouraged to join.

Professor of English, Emeritus, SF State; Former Host of Forum, KQED Radio

Michael Krasny is a literary critic, scholar, and celebrated broadcast journalist. He is the author of many books, including Off Mike, Spiritual Envy, and Let There Be Laughter; the coauthor of Sound Ideas; and the creator and presenter of the audio lecture series "Masterpieces of Short Fiction." Krasny is the host of the weekly podcast Grey Matter with Michael Krasny.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) John G Parks, American Short Stories Since 1945 (ISBN 978-0195131321)