Tuesday, December 23, 2008

the way families are

From Mary Gordon's Circling My Mother: "One of the things I believe to be most true of family life, whether it is a single mother and her child or a huge extended family, is that the family believes certain habits, practices, to be ordinary, whereas they are easily seen by the outside to be odd, inexplicable, even insane" (p. 59).

Sunday, December 21, 2008

books to buy

These books are available at the Penn Book Center, corner of Sansom and 34th Streets:

1. Coover, The Universal Baseball Association...
2. Coover, The Public Burning
3. Coover, The Night at the Movies
4. Coover, The Grand Hotels
5. Coover, A Child Again
6. Didion, A Book of Common Prayer
7. Didion, We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live
8. Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking
9. Gordon, The Shadow Man
10. Gordon, Pearl
11. Gordon, Circling My Mother

our reading schedule

Writers House Fellows seminar reading schedule:

[] Sunday, January 18, 7-10 PM: special first session (dinner served) at the Writers House, 3805 Locust. Members of the seminar should read and be prepared to discuss three stories, one each by the Fellows: Robert Coover's "The Wayfarer"; Mary Gordon's "City Life"; and Joan Didion's "Some Dreamers of the Golden Dream." Coover's story is available online here, and Gordon's story is here. Didion's piece can be found in a book Fellows seminarians are required to buy, We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live (WTOSIOTL).

[] Monday, Jan. 26: Coover, The Universal Baseball Association...

[] Monday, Feb. 2: Coover, The Public Burning

[] Monday, Feb. 9: Coover, A Night at the Movies and The Grand Hotels

[] Monday, Feb. 16: Coover, A Child Again

[] Monday-Tuesday, Feb. 23-24: Robert Coover visits

[] Monday, Mar. 2: Didion, A Book of Common Prayer; "Where the Kissing Never Stops" (in WTOSIOTL), "Slouching Towards Bethlehem" (in WTOSIOTL), "The White Album" (in WTOSIOTL)

[] Monday, Mar. 16: DOUBLE SESSION: 2-5 PM; 8-10 PM (with dinner). Readings by Didion all in WTOSIOTL: Miami (pp. 411-550); "Sentimental Journey" from After Henry; "Insider Baseball," "The West Wing of Oz," "Clinton Agonistes," and "God's Country," all from Political Fictions.

[] Monday, Mar. 23: Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking

[] Monday-Tuesday, Mar. 30-31: Joan Didion visits

[] Monday, April 6: Mary Gordon, The Shadow Man

[] Monday, April 13: Gordon, Pearl

[] Monday, April 20: Gordon, Circling My Mother

[] Monday-Tuesday, April 27-28: Mary Gordon visits

[] Thursday, April 30, 2-5 PM: final words; exam talk; lunch/party

Robert Coover's "The Wayfarer"

During our very first session, we will be discussing a short story published in Coover's famous early book, Pricksongs & Descants (1969). Our tale, called "The Wayfarer," is one of "Seven Exemplary Fictions" grouped together in the middle of the book. Click here for a scanned copy of the story.

Mary Gordon's "City Life"

For our very first meeting, we will be discussing Mary Gordon's story "City Life." It was first published in the journal Ploughshares and that year won the coveted O. Henry Prize (1997). "City Life" is the first story in the book titled The Stories of Mary Gordon (2006). Click here for a scanned copy of the story.