Brilliant writing transports readers, stretches minds, and sometimes changes lives. How each author achieves this depends on a variety of factors. Award-winning writing reaches beyond the limits of its time and place, affects readers for generations to come, and shapes and advances literature.
Award-winning novels will be the focus and the connecting theme of the course. Each of the three selections represent a different decade and award–National Book Award, Booker Prize, and PEN/Faulkner– in an effort to examine shared traits of award winning novels.
The novels for discussion are, in this order:
The Eighth Day by Thornton Wilder, National Book Award, 1968
Offshore by Penelope Fitzgerald, Booker Prize, 1979
Netherland by Joseph O’Neill, Penn Faulkner Fiction Award, 2009
Theo Theoharis, Ph.D. has lectured widely on American and European literature both in the United States and abroad. He is author of James Joyce’s Ulysses: An Anatomyof the Soul and Ibsen’s Drama: Right Action and Tragic Joy, and well as the translator of Before They Could Change Them: The Complete Poems of Constantine P. Cavafy. He has received teaching awards from UC Berkeley, MIT andHarvard. He has taught courses on the epic, tragedy, andmodern fiction at Harvard for the last 25 years.
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