We will read and discuss four novels and a wide variety of short stories by American authors. Students will be expected to read stories as assigned, attend class regularly, take part in open discussions, and write a series of short in-class essays on topics to be handed out in advance. There will be no mid-term or final exams, and no extra credit projects. Texts for the class are THE HOUSE OF THE SEVEN GABLES by Nathaniel Hawthorne, EAST OF EDEN by John Steinbeck, GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN by James Baldwin, A PATCHWORK PLANET by Anne Tyler, GREAT AMERICAN SHORT STORIES, ed. Wallace and Mary Stegner, and FIFTY GREAT AMERICAN SHORT STORIES, ed. Milton Crane.