Kurt Vonnegut once said “to open a novel is to arrive in a music hall and be handed a viola. You have to perform...if you can do it, you can go whaling in the South Pacific with Herman Melville, or you can watch Madame Bovary make a mess of her life in Paris.” This spring semester our readings will carry us away to Paris, India, the Balkans, Ireland, Los Angeles and London. We start with our longest book, Père Goriot by
Honoré de Balzac and hope class participants will have read it before our first class. The 1994 translation by Burton Raffell is accompanied by textual annotations and a map of Paris in the Norton Critical Edition. After that, we read a book every two weeks, and readings average 128 pages a week. Books include The Loved One
by Evelyn Waugh, The God of Small Things
by Arundhati Roy, The End of the Affair
by Graham Greene, The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
by James Joyce, Offshore
by Penelope Fitzgerald and The Tiger’s Wife
by Tea Obreht. Any editions of the books acceptable. No class on 05/25/20.