Fall 2009
Fully Enrolled

HUMS 620
The Prophet and the Freak: A Creative Nonfiction Writing Workshop

Basch,Rachel N.

09/14/2009 - 12/18/2009
Wednesday 06:00 PM - 09:00 PM

Downey 100

"The writer has to judge himself with a stranger's eye and a stranger's severity. The prophet in him has to see the freak. No art is sunk in the self, but rather, in art the self becomes self-forgetful..." Flannery O'Connor

This is a course for students interested in tapping into "the voice that's great within" them. Students will explore the sub-genres of creative nonfiction, especially memoir and personal essay. The focus will be on producing work that connects the writer's deepest truth with the reader's deepest truth.

In the early part of the semester, the assignments will consist of writing exercises geared toward the mining of vital subject matter. As the term progresses, students will be asked to complete three creative nonfiction essays. The final project will consist of a deep revision of one of the essays.

The course will be conducted as a workshop. All student writing will be shared and critiqued by the other members of the class.

Weekly reading assignments will be given along with the writing assignments. We will be reading essays by a number of writers, including: Andre Aciman, Susan Cheever, David Denby, Andre Dubus, Kathleen Norris, Cynthia Ozick, Tobias Wolff, Mary Gordon, Joan Didion, Phillip Lopate, Thomas Lynch, John Edgar Wideman, Mary Carr, Jamaica Kincaid.

Course tuition: $2022.

This course is best suited to students with some writing experience.

Enrollment is limited to 14 students. This course is not open to auditors.

A syllabus for this course is available at:
Course Syllabus


Rachel Basch (B.A. Wesleyan University; M.A. New York University) is the author of two novels. The Passion of Reverend Nash (W.W. Norton) was named one of the five best novels of 2003 by The Christian Science Monitor. Degrees of Love (W.W. Norton, Harper Paperbacks) was translated into Dutch and German and was a selection of The Hartford Courant's Book Club. Basch's non-fiction has appeared in Parenting and on The Huffington Post, and she has reviewed books for The Washington Post Book World. Basch was a 2011 MacDowell Colony Fellow. She recently received the William Van Wert fiction prize for an excerpt from her new novel, The Listener. She currently teaches in Fairfield University's MFA program.


ENROLLMENT INFORMATION

Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Seminar

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 14

Texts to purchase for this course:
Joseph Epstein, THE NORTON BOOK OF PERSONAL ESSAYS (W.W. Norton), Hardcover

Bich Nguyen & Porter Shreve, CONTEMPORARY CREATIVE NONFICTION: I & EYE (Longman), Paperback

Lex Williford & Michael Martone, TOUCHSTONE ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY CREATIVE NONFICTION: WORK FROM 1970 TO THE PRESENT (Touchstone), Paperback

READING MATERIALS ARE AVAILABLE AT BROAD STREET BOOKS, 45 BROAD STREET, MIDDLETOWN, 860-685-7323 Order your books online

Register for Courses



Contact glsinquire@wesleyan.edu to submit comments or suggestions. 
Copyright Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, 06459