Friday, 10 April 2015

My course in Non-Fiction Writing at The City Lit: April 24 - July 10 2015

From April 24 to July 10 I'm going to be teaching a class in Non-Fiction Writing at the City Lit in Covent Garden. Simply put, this will involve me and the students reading and appreciating the works of some high-order exponents of contemporary non-fiction, and the students producing their own written work for class discussion on a weekly basis. I think it'll be fun. Anyone is welcome to book a place, please do tell your friends etc.

Among the writers whose work I expect we will be looking at are:

Simon Armitage (Walking Home)
Gordon Burn (Somebody’s Husband, Somebody’s Son)
Ian Buruma (Murder in Amsterdam)
Roger Deakin (Waterlog)
Joan Didion (The Year of Magical Thinking)
Ian Hamilton (In Search of J.D. Salinger)
Robert Hughes (The Fatal Shore)
Janet Malcolm, (The Journalist and the Murderer)
Norman Mailer (Miami and the Siege of Chicago)
V.S. Naipaul (Area of Darkness)
Gitta Sereny (Cries Unheard)
Claire Tomalin (The Invisible Woman)

Among the issues I imagine I'll be exploring with the students:

- Structure, narration, point-of-view; 
- how to work up your inchoate ideas; 
- how to be honest on the page; 
- how to explain the way that a thing works; 
- how to describe what people and places look like; 
- how to convey the ways people speak; 
- how to explain a sequence of events interestingly; 
- how to fathom one’s memories accurately...;
- ... and how not to fabricate them; 
- how to bear witness to human misery;
- how to write about people and things of which you disapprove; 
- how to keep good notes, how to conduct interviews; 
- how to begin a piece of writing; 
- and, oh yes, how to end it.

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