The American Novel

One Semester Course (2 Credits)

1-3 Range


This course requires the reading of several (3-5) canonical novels which are approached both historically and analytically. Each novel is explored in depth to determine its uniqueness and relationship to the form, the development of the genre, and it’s place in the American literary landscape. Beyond such formal study of the genre, the course will explore both universal literary themes and those themes particular to American society and culture. Students should expect to be evaluated on participation, formal and informal writing, quizzes, tests, and a semester exam. There may also be projects and/or presentations. Students in the course should be enthusiastic readers.

Titles and Authors may well be drawn from the following list:

Moby Dick, Melville

Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Stowe

The House of Mirth, Wharton

The Sound and the Fury, Faulkner

A Farewell to Arms, Hemingway

Light in August, Faulkner

The Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck

Invisible Man, Ellison

Catch-22, Heller

Blood Meridian, McCarthy

Beloved, Morrison

A Prayer for Owen Meaney, Irving

Accordion Crimes, Proulx

Middlesex, Eugenides

The Known World, Jones

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