This class pushes past the traditional “novel of education” with contemporary novels featuring female artists, as a way to engage questions of independence, art-making, rebellion, and domesticity. The novels take on issues of representations of the body, gender, and the relationship between art and life. The lines between public and private, and secrets will also be a motif. The novels take place in America, England, Ireland, Denmark, the Italian Renaissance, and a faraway country known as Brooklyn. Grading is based on weekly writing, and two papers.
This class is taught synchronously.
Readings include Claire Messud, The Woman Upstairs (2013), Ali Smith, How to Be Both (2014); Sally Rooney, Normal People (2018); Dorthe Nors, So Much for That Winter (2013), and Raven Leilani, Luster (2021).