Once a week Wednesdays, 6:30 pm EDT - 8:00 pm EDT October 4 to October 25, 2023
The Center for Fiction
The ‘With Book’ option includes a copy of As I Lay Dying at a 10% discount from our Bookstore.
As I Lay Dying, published in 1930, is considered one of the significant novels of the 20th century. The title is derived from William Marris’s 1925 translation of Homer’s Odyssey, referencing the similar themes of both works. A number of well-known writers have noted being influenced by the novel, and these include Graham Swift, Damon Galgut, Suzan-Lori Parks, and Jesmyn Ward, to name a few.
In conversations around the novel, one can look at the multiple voices Faulkner uses as he removes himself and divides the narrative into fifty-nine separate monologues, each spoken or thought by one of fifteen characters. There is no exposition, no description of character or action outside of the way the characters see themselves, one another, and the events in which they are involved.
The book can be described as an experiment in modernism and considers the alienation of the artist—or the alienation of the individual from what is happening within the culture.
With the influence of this novel on writers and the current period of disruption and transformation in society, there is value in reading this novel and thinking about its impact on contemporary fiction.
I encourage participation and readings outside of the text that will educate participants.
Wednesdays, 6:30–8pm ET
10/4, 10/11, 10/18, 10/25
In-Person at The Center for Fiction
- Session I: Read to page 68
- Session II: Read to page 136
- Session III: Read to page 205
- Session IV: Read to the end
Elizabeth Howard grew up with a passion for books and reading. Her articles have appeared in Corporate Board Member, Communication Arts, European Communications, Investor Relations, Law Firm Marketing & Profit Report, Communication World, the Strategist, and the New York Law Journal, among others. Queen Anne’s Lace and Wild Blackberry Pie, a book of reflections on growing up in New Hampshire, was published by Thornwillow Press in 2011. Her other books include A Day with Bonefish Joe (David R. Godin, 2015) and she edited Ned O’Gorman: A Glance Back (Easton Studio Press, 2016). She was the inaugural Madeleine L’Engle Fellow at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.
She is the producer and host of a podcast, the Short Fuse, that can be found on Spotify, Amazon Music, Simplecast and through the Arts Fuse, the online journal of criticism and commentary. Through the Short Fuse, she is often in conversations with authors.
Elizabeth Howard lives in New York City.
About this series
Whether you’re looking to catch up on great novels or you’re interested in exploring a new writer or literary period, our reading groups offer high-level literary discussion led by experts in the field.
Constant Flight Forward: César Aira and His Bonkers Books with Samuel Rutter
Five Sessions 6:30 pm EDT - 8:00 pm EDT September 27 to January 24, 2023
Dickens, Gaskell, and Collins with Amanda Hollander
Six Sessions Thursdays, 6:00 pm EDT - 7:30 pm EDT September 28, 2023 to January 4, 2024
Surgery on the Sentence Level with Omer Friedlander$150
Saturday & Sunday 12:00 pm EDT - 3:00 pm EDT September 30 to October 1, 2023
Writing History with Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond$125
Saturday, 12:00 pm EDT - 4:30 pm EDT September 30, 2023
Writing Fiction for Social Justice with Ruth Mukwana$495
Once a week Mondays, 12:00 pm EDT - 2:00 pm EDT October 2 to November 20, 2023
George Eliot’s Middlemarch with Sheila Kohler
Every Other Week Mondays, 6:00 pm EDT - 7:30 pm EDT October 2 to November 27, 2023
Good Moms, Bad Moms: Mothers in Contemporary French Autobiographies with Lise Schreier$225
Five Sessions Thursdays, 6:00 pm EDT - 7:30 pm EDT October 5 to December 21, 2023
Belief and Doubt: The Novels of Graham Greene (and One by John le Carré) with Dennis Krieger
Five Sessions 7:00 pm EDT - 8:30 pm EDT October 5 to January 18, 2023
Writing Family Stories and Family Histories with Eraldo Souza dos Santos$150
Friday—Sunday October 6 to October 8, 2023
An Introduction to Comics with Sofia Warren$150
Saturday & Sunday 11:00 am EDT - 2:00 pm EDT October 7 to October 8, 2023
What's Italian? Collodi's Pinocchio and De Amicis’s Heart with Antonio Romani
Once a week Saturdays, 12:00 pm EDT - 1:30 pm EDT October 7 to October 28, 2023
Revising the College Essay with Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons$75
Saturday, 1:00 pm EDT - 3:00 pm EDT October 7, 2023
Members Only: The NightlightersFree
Monday, 6:00 pm EDT - 7:30 pm EDT October 9, 2023
Genre/Gender-Bending Asian Science Fiction and Fantasy with Joy Sanchez-Taylor
Three Sessions Mondays, 6:00 pm EDT - 7:30 pm EDT October 9 to November 20, 2023
Writing Powerful, Characterizing Dialogue in Fiction with Joanna Cantor$395
Once a week Wednesdays, 7:00 pm EDT - 9:00 pm EDT October 11 to November 15, 2023
Henry Fielding's The History of Tom Jones, A Foundling with Rebecca Rukeyser
Once a week Wednesdays, 6:00 pm EDT - 7:30 pm EDT October 11 to December 13, 2023
How to Publish Translation Writing with Bruna Dantas Lobato$150
Saturday & Sunday 12:00 pm EDT - 3:00 pm EDT October 14 to October 15, 2023
Georges Perec's Life: A User's Manual with Evan James
Once a week Tuesdays, 6:00 pm EDT - 7:30 pm EDT October 17 to December 19, 2023
Creating a Book Marketing Plan: How to Authentically Promote Your Book and Engage Your Community with Eleanor Whitney$150
Saturday & Sunday 11:00 am EDT - 2:00 pm EDT October 21 to October 22, 2023
Literary Truth: How to Write Immersive Nonfiction with Courtney Zoffness$150
Saturday & Sunday 12:00 pm EDT - 3:00 pm EDT October 21 to October 22, 2023