This semester’s Intro to Lit reading list

Random

Over the past year, my Intro to Lit class has evolved a bit. Here’s what we’re reading this semester (stories, essays, poems, plays):

  • Joyce Carol Oates, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”
  • Matthew Dickman, “Slow Dance”
  • Marie Howe, “What the Living Do”
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald, “Bernice Bobs Her Hair”
  • Flannery O’Connor, “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”
  • ZZ Packer, “Brownies”
  • Anton Chekhov, “Oysters”
  • Wordsworth, “My Heart Leaps Up”
  • Italo Calvino, “The Distance of the Moon”
  • John Cheever, “The Swimmer”
  • Edward P. Jones, “The Night Rhonda Ferguson Was Killed”
  • Elizabeth Alexander, “Tina Green”
  • Mary Ruefle, “The Hand”
  • Gray Jacobik, “Skirts”
  • Alice Munro, “The Jack Randa Hotel”
  • Cynthia Ozick, “A Drugstore in Winter”
  • Raymond Carver, “Fever”
  • Gail Godwin, “Dream Children”
  • Dorothy Parker, “A Certain Lady”
  • Pinckney Benedict, “The Sutton Pie Safe”
  • James Salter, “Ahknilo”
  • Edgar Allan Poe, “The Tell-Tale Heart”
  • Kathy Fish, “Shoebox”
  • Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “The Yellow Wallpaper”
  • William Blake, “The Sick Rose”
  • Manuel Gonzales, “The Miniature Wife”
  • Haruki Murakami, “The Second Bakery Attack”
  • Jamaal May, “The Gun Joke”
  • Shirley Jackson, “Pillar of Salt”
  • James Baldwin, “Sonny’s Blues”
  • Michael Oppenheimer, “The Paring Knife”
  • David Foster Wallace, “Consider the Lobster”
  • Brian Doyle, “Joyas Voladoras”
  • Julio Cortázar, “Continuity of Parks”
  • Grace Paley, “A Conversation with My Father”
  • Shakespeare, “Macbeth”
  • Gary Gilder, “Fingers”
  • Randall Jarrell, “Death of the Ball Turret Gunner”
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Fable”
  • Donald Hall, “White Apples”
  • Peter Covino, “April 18th…”
  • Wallace Stevens, “13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird”
  • William Carlos Williams, “The Red Wheelbarrow”
  • Emily Dickinson, “Because I could not stop for Death”
  • Yazmina Reza, “God of Carnage”
  • Ron Carlson, “Bigfoot Stole My Wife”
  • George Saunders, “My Flamboyant Grandson”
  • Mark Twain, “The Cannibalism in the Cars”
  • Herman Melville, “Bartleby”
  • Joy Castro, “Grip”
  • Anton Chekhov, “Lady with the Dog”
  • Tomas Q. Morín, “Love Train”
  • Lydia Davis, “For Sixty Cents” & “Traveling with Mother”
  • Richard Brautigan, “1/3, 1/3, 1/3”
  • Amber Sparks, “13 Ways of Destroying a Painting”
  • Carlos Fuentes, “Chac-Mool”
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne, “Young Goodman Brown”

Considering gender, it’s not as balanced as I’d like, but it’s getting there. There are also some stories I’m not listing here, as they’ll be used for our midterm and final. Both of these will be written by women.

Brief Update

Interview, Random

I talked with Benjamin Johncock about his excellent debut novel, The Last Pilot, for Publishers Weekly. I highly recommend Ben’s book. It’s a great read.

Over at Barrelhouse, I took part in a panel piece on the FX comedy Louie. We got really into dissecting the narrative elements of the show, and we all admitted we’d go for the hot pour. UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: 6/6/15 Here’s the second half of the Louie panel discussion.

A Photo and a Title End Up on Buzzfeed

Random

A funny little thing: A week ago, my photo ended up on Buzzfeed‘s post “33 Writers Share The Books That Inspired Them To Write.”

Backstory: While at AWP, I ran into Isaac, the editor at Buzzfeed Books and one of the nicest guys on the planet, about an hour before catching my airport shuttle. We were talking about, well, books, and he asked me to write down a title that helped shape me as a writer. “For a project,” he said. Off the top of my head, I thought of Where the Wild Things Are, which may seem like a strange choice, but it’s true. I think Wild Things, like the book There’s a Nightmare in My Closet, was one of the first children’s stories I remember that paired monsters with the concepts of empathy and emotion. Looking at my own writing today, I see that narrative thread constantly.

Anyway, he snapped a photo and it ended up on the website. Here’s a link to the piece. There are no names attached to the photos, but you can find me. Also, you may be able to spot some recognizable faces, like Will Chancellor and Julia Fierro, who both released acclaimed novels last year.

Intro to Lit Reading List

Random

I’m teaching a section of Introduction to Literature this semester, and a few friends asked about my syllabus. While I’m not going to bore anyone with such a dry document, I am willing to post the class reading list here, in (more or less) the order we’re discussing the work.

  • Matthew Dickman, “Slow Dance”
  • Joyce Carol Oates, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”
  • Marie Howe, “What the Living Do”
  • Ernest Hemingway, “The Killers”
  • Flannery O’Connor, “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”
  • ZZ Packer, “Brownies”
  • Kathy Fish, “Shoebox”
  • Anton Chekhov, “Oysters”
  • Gray Jacobik, “Skirts”
  • Denis Johnson, “Emergency”
  • Edward P. Jones, “The Night Rhonda Ferguson Was Killed”
  • Elizabeth Alexander, “Tina Green”
  • Mary Ruefle, “The Hand”
  • Abby Frucht, “The Empiricist”
  • Cynthia Ozick, “A Drugstore In Winter”
  • Raymond Carver, “Fever”
  • Robert Coover, “The Babysitter”
  • Richard Ford, “Rock Springs”
  • Haruki Murakami, “The Second Bakery Attack”
  • Jamaal May, “The Gun Joke”
  • James Salter, “Ahknilo”
  • Edgar Allan Poe, “Tell-Tale Heart”
  • Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “The Yellow Wallpaper”
  • Shirley Jackson, “Pillar of Salt”
  • James Baldwin, “Sonny’s Blues”
  • Lydia Davis, “Jury Duty,” “For Sixty Cents,” & “Traveling with Mother”
  • Richard Brautigan, “1/3, 1/3, 1/3”
  • Michael Oppenheimer, “Paring Knife”
  • William Shakespeare, “Macbeth”
  • Gary Gildner, “Fingers”
  • Randall Jarrell, “The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner”
  • Anton Chekhov, “Misery”
  • Douglas Glover, “The Poet Fishbein”
  • Ron Carlson, “Bigfoot Stole My Wife”
  • Zadie Smith, “You Are In Paradise”
  • Dick Allen, “To a Woman Half a World Away”
  • Donald Hall, “White Apples”
  • Emily Dickinson, “There’s a certain slant of light”
  • Wallace Stevens, “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird”
  • William Carlos Williams, “The Red Wheelbarrow”
  • Quim Monzo, “Praise”
  • George Saunders, “My Flamboyant Grandson”
  • Annie Dillard, “This Is the Life”
  • Anton Chekhov, “The Lady with the Dog”
  • Herman Melville, “Bartleby, the Scrivener”
  • Katherine Anne Porter, “Flowering Judas”
  • David Foster Wallace, “Consider the Lobster”
  • Brian Doyle, “Joyas Voladoras”
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne, “Young Goodman Brown”
  • Julio Cortazar, “Axolotl”
  • Aimee Bender, “The Rememberer”
  • Carlos Fuentes, “Chac-Mool”

There are a few other pieces, but they’re part of midterms/finals, and I don’t want anyone snooping around to receive an unfair advantage, so I’m not including them here.