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Writing Workshops

The Art of Writing Trauma with Buku Sarkar


10 Sessions

Out of stock

Once a week Thursdays, 6:30 pm EDT - 8:30 pm EDT April 11 to June 13, 2024

Online via Zoom

Registration for this course is closed.

Annie Ernaux doesn’t write sweeping autobiographical works about her entire life.

Each of her books are based on one single incident: death of her mother, an abortion, an ex lover. Like a parenthesis of one’s life.

Her minimalistic style—spareness of words, descriptions and detachment can actually create a striking voice that is more powerful and emotional in its guise of simplicity.

Writing with detachment does not necessarily mean a lack of feeling. As Ernaux wrote:

I want to become immersed in that part of my life once again and learn what can be found there. This investigation must be seen in the context of a narrative, the only. genre able to transcribe an event that was nothing but time flowing inside and outside me…Above all I shall endeavor to revisit every single image until I feel that I have physically bonded with it. Until a few words spring forth of which I can say, ‘yes, that’s it.’

In this course, we will explore how to write memoir about things that are difficult to talk about: How to write them with sparseness and simplicity without overindulging on the emotions, yet not ignoring sensitivity and trauma.

Students will be encouraged to bring in writing in progress we can workshop in class or do. in class writing via prompts.

This class is suitable for those already with a body of work they want edited by their peers but also those who need that slight guidance in making the first step.

Assignments will include writing/editing your stories, reading short texts, close sentence level discussions and dissections.

Course Outline

This class will focus on writing about personal subject matters that are difficult to talk about. It will focus on how to write with empathy but without over indulging in nostalgia. How to write with restrain but also be open. We will be reading texts by Annie Ernaux. Specifically her book The Happening in each class to learn how to negotiate with this push and pull tension.

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    Buku Sarkar

    Buku Sarkar

    Buku Sarkar is a fiction writer and photographer based in New York. Her first book has just been published in 2023, a collection of short stories titled Not Quite A Disaster After All. She has written for various magazines including NYRB, ZYZZYVA, NYTimes, Sewanee Review, Threepenny Review, and received the best short story of the year award from Sewannee Review. Her photography, has been shown at ICP, Art Basel Miami to name a few.