Out of stock
Once a week Thursdays, 6:30 pm EST - 8:30 pm EST 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 Dávila 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. . .”
About this series
We strive to make our classes the most inviting and rewarding available, offering an intimate environment to study with award-winning, world-class writers. Each class is specially designed by the instructor, so whether you’re a fledgling writer or an MFA graduate polishing your novel, you’ll find a perfect fit here.
Joyce Before Ulysses: Exploring Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man with William Mottolese (Sold Out)
Four Sessions via Zoom Thursdays, 6:00 pm EST - 7:30 pm EST January 21 to April 22, 2021
Plotting the Perfect Crime (Story) with Jonathan Santlofer$150
Wednesday - Friday 2:00 pm EST - 4:00 pm EST January 27 to January 29, 2021
Inside Criminal Minds: Crafting Psychological Suspense with Alison Gaylin$150
Friday - Sunday 2:00 pm EST - 4:00 pm EST January 29 to January 31, 2021
Writing Sex in Fiction with Regina M. Porter$395
Once a week Wednesdays, 6:00 pm EST - 8:00 pm EST February 3 to March 10, 2021
Building Page-Turning Thrill Rides for Readers with Duane Swierczynski$150
Thursday - Saturday 3:00 pm EST - 5:00 pm EST February 4 to February 6, 2021
From Family Lore to Narrative Fiction with Maisy Card (Sold Out)$395
Once a week Tuesdays, 6:30 pm EST - 8:30 pm EST February 9 to March 16, 2021
Dialogue: Letting Your Characters Do More of the Work with De’Shawn Charles Winslow$495
Once a week Wednesdays, 6:30 pm EST - 8:30 pm EST February 10 to March 31, 2021
Users and Suckers and Steady Bad Luckers: Writing Complex Characters with William Boyle (Sold Out)$150
Friday - Sunday 2:00 pm EST - 4:00 pm EST February 12 to February 14, 2021
Members Only: The LiterariansFree
Wednesday, 12:30 pm EST - 2:00 pm EST February 17, 2021
How to Write Character-Driven Plot with Lauren Wilkinson (Sold Out)$150
Once a week Thursdays, 6:00 pm EST - 8:00 pm EST February 18 to March 4, 2021
New Ways to Jumpstart Stalled Stories with Sahar Mustafah$150
Saturday & Sunday 2:00 pm EST - 4:15 pm EST February 20 to February 21, 2021
What’s Italian? A Journey through 20th Century Italy with Antonio Romani
6 Sessions via Zoom Tuesdays, 6:00 pm EST - 7:30 pm EST February 23 to May 4, 2021
Reading the Other Americas with Kaiama L. Glover
4 Sessions via Zoom Wednesdays, 7:00 pm EST - 8:30 pm EST February 24 to May 26, 2021
The Art of Fiction Writing with Diane Zinna$495
Once a week Saturdays, 10:00 am EST - 12:00 pm EST February 27 to April 17, 2021
Criminal Justice in Fiction with Jennifer Baker
5 Sessions via Zoom Sundays, 1:00 pm EST - 2:30 pm EST February 28 to June 27, 2021