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Martin Kevorkian, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Fall 2004

E 379S • Studies in Modern Short Fiction

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
33205 TTh
2:00 PM-3:30 PM
PAR 301

Course Description

This course offers a banquet of 25 exceptional short stories, chiefly by American writers of the latter 20th century. Because most of us are interested in people, and because these stories create for us clusters of fellow human beings whom we are invited to find believable and worth thinking about, our chief focus will be on the characters themselves—their psychologies and relationships. But since this course is also a writing-intensive senior seminar, we will also focus heavily on improving your writing— specifically, your fluency, your grammar, your word power, your style, and your editing skills. So this is two courses in one. Be sure that your schedule can accommodate the commitment it requires.

Plan on keeping a daily reading journal, handwritten or typed—roughly three pages per story. From time to time I’ll ask you to read aloud excerpts from it on that day’s assignment.

Grading Policy

1st portfolio of 2 journals 10%
3 papers, each 4 pages 40%
Final portfolio of 6 journals 50%

Attendance policy:
If you miss more than two classes without good cause, your grade drops a letter; if more than four classes, you get dropped from my class roster. Just as you expect me to report for work, I expect no less of you.


R.V. Cassill, ed., The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction, 6th ed.
Ann Charters, The Story and Its Writer, 6th ed.
J. Trimble, Writing with Style: Conversations on the Art of Writing, 2nd ed.


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