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S17C10 The Evolution of the American Short Story

Americans have always been in a hurry, often involved with the "practical" needs of life, so the fact that American readers have been fascinated with short literature that can be read in a brief period of time should come as no surprise. Beginning in the 19th century with such authors as Poe, Hawthorne, Melville, and James, on into the early 20th century with Twain, Wharton, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, and Hemingway, and concluding the 20th century with Cather, Welty, Buck, Porter, and Updike, America's short story writers continued to win readers with their depictions of American culture and character. The 21st century American short story writer, while still offering realistic pictures of contemporary American life, often ventures into the world of fantasy and science fiction, continuing to win new readers to a literary art form that can be both brief yet intellectually satisfying. While often appealing to those who "really do not like to read," the American short story writer often brings to life the times, the dilemmas, and the American character to its readers. This course will give the contemporary reader a brief history of the evolution of the American short story and examine its lasting appeal.

Instructor: Joan Frederick has taught American literature for over forty years, most of that time in the English Department at James Madison University.


Payment Information: Payment is due at time of registration and must be made by credit card (AMEX, MasterCard, Visa and Discover.) There is a $5 credit card convenience fee assessed at the time of payment. You will be redirected to the payment web site after clicking submit. Please have your credit card ready. Once payment is successfully completed, you will receive a payment receipt and a registration confirmation by email.

Withdrawal/Refund Policy: You may cancel your registration up to one week before the class start date, and receive a full refund (minus any credit card processing fees.) After that date, no refunds will be given.

For registration questions, please contact Lifelong Learning Institute at or 540/568.2923.

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