Once a week Thursdays, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm June 11 to July 30, 2020
6:30-8:30pm ET / 3:30-5:30pm PT
This course will be held online via Zoom. Participants will receive instructions for access prior to the first class.
Is metafiction a literary genre? Does the subject of that sentence, let alone the question it proposes, matter?
The Art of Metafiction is an eight-week workshop that explores these inquiries, during which we will seek to define metafiction, debunk commonly held notions about the category, and enhance our work with its devices. Each student will have the opportunity to submit two stories for feedback in a supportive and constructive environment.
In addition to writing your own metanarratives, we will read and discuss short works by Jose Luis Borges, Toni Morrison, and Amparo Dánila that employ effective techniques of metafiction. Each session will explore a different element of fiction that will be used as the analytical framework for our weekly discussions and readings.
Simeon Marsalis is a writer from New Rochelle, New York who graduated from Rutgers University-Newark with an MFA in Fiction. His debut novel, As Lie Is to Grin, was published by Catapult books and shortlisted for The Center for Fiction’s “First Novel Prize” in 2017. He has presented his work in a variety of contexts. Notably, he performed his essay “Why Jazz?: A Music Festival Review” at Joe’s Public Theater (2018), and was the visiting author for The Fashion Institute of Technology’s “Author Talks” series (2019). Currently, Marsalis is in the process of finishing his second novel.
By Simeon Marsalis
As Lie Is to Grin
By Simeon Marsalis
Published by Catapult
David, the narrator of Simeon Marsalis’s singular first novel, is a freshman at the University of Vermont who is struggling to define himself against the white backdrop of his school. He is also mourning the loss of his New York girlfriend, whose grandfather’s alma mater he has chosen to attend. When David met Melody, he lied to her about who he was and where he lived, creating a more intriguing story than his own. This lie haunts and almost unhinges him as he attempts to find his true voice and identity.
On campus in Vermont, David imagines encounters with a student from the past who might represent either Melody’s grandfather or Jean Toomer, the author of the acclaimed Harlem Renaissance novel Cane (1923). He becomes obsessed with the varieties of American architecture “upon land that was stolen,” and with the university’s past and attitudes as recorded in its newspaper, The Cynic. And he is frustrated with the way the Internet and libraries are curated, making it difficult to find the information he needs to make connections between the university’s history, African American history, and his own life.
In New York, the previous year, Melody confides a shocking secret about her grandfather’s student days at the University of Vermont. When she and her father collude with the intent to meet David’s mother in Harlem—craving what they consider an authentic experience of the black world—their plan ends explosively. The title of this impressive and emotionally powerful novel is inspired by Paul Laurence Dunbar’s poem “We Wear the Mask” (1896): “We wear the mask that grins and lies. . .”
N.K. Jemisin's Broken Earth Trilogy: An Online Reading Group led by Joy Sanchez-Taylor$120
5/26, 6/9, 6/30, 7/14 Tuesdays, 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm May 26 to July 14, 2020
Borges and Friends: An Online Reading Group led by Sam Rutter$120
Every Other Week Wednesdays, 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm May 27 to July 8, 2020
Tough Women in Hard Times: An Online Reading Group led by Anne E. Fernald$120
6/8, 7/6, 8/3, 8/31 Mondays, 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm June 8 to August 31, 2020
The Queer Interior from Baldwin to Vuong: An Online Reading Group led by Thomas Dooley$120
6/9, 6/30, 7/21, 8/11 Tuesdays, 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm June 9 to August 11, 2020
Members Only: The LiterariansFree
Wednesday, 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm June 17, 2020
Sold Out — Online Workshop: Experimental Writing for Non-Experimental Writers led by Porochista Khakpour$150
Saturday & Sunday 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm June 20 to June 21, 2020
Examining Home in Fiction by Women of Color: An Online Reading Group led by Regina A. Bernard Carreno$120
6/29, 7/6, 7/27, 8/17 Mondays, 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm June 29 to August 17, 2020
Online Workshop: The Spoken Role led by Charles Bock$100
Friday & Saturday 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm July 17 to July 18, 2020
Online Workshop: Finding Your Voice led by Weike Wang$100
Saturday & Sunday 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm July 25 to July 26, 2020