Lucia Berlin’s Autofiction: Transforming Truth
with Becca Yenser
Genres: Fiction, Nonfiction, Reading, Memoir, Short Story
"Things keep happening," is how the New York Times described Lucia Berlin's writing. But how (specifically) did Berlin transfix readers to posthumously become one of America's most important writers of the twentieth century? We will examine her work, paying close attention to how she combines fiction with autobiography. After a discussion, we will dive into our own autofiction by borrowing techniques and structures from her collections Evening in Paradise and A Manual for Cleaning Women.
No class dates: 11/23/2023
August 7: Scholarship Donation Day
August 8: Member registration opens at 10:30 am
August 15: General registration opens at 10:30 am
August 21: Last day of Early Bird pricing
Becca Yenser is author of Bang the Dream (Selcouth Station Press, 2021), The Grief Lottery (forthcoming, ELJ Editions, 2022), and A Constellation of Wounds (forthcoming, Bone and Ink Press, 2022). Their semi-autobiographical novella, The Ms. Pac Man Chronicles, won the Daily Drunk Mag’s 2021 novella chapbook contest. More fiction, poetry, and nonfiction appear in Hobart, Bending Genres, Tiny Molecules, Heavy Feather Review, Susan, Ink Node, Fanzine, Superfroot Magazine, and X-Ray Literary Journal. Yenser is the recipient of the 2021 Reflex International Flash Fiction Contest. They were awarded Honorable Mention for the Masters Review 2021 Chapbook Contest, the Toasted Cheese Dead of Winter Horror Fiction Contest (2021), and the Waxing and Waning Prose Award (2021). Yenser earned an MFA at Wichita State University, where they studied fiction and poetry and were named Fiction Fellow. They worked as an award-winning reporter and arts and culture writer for WSU’s student-run paper, The Sunflower. Yenser also served as fiction editor and co-Editor-in-Chief of Mikrokosmos Literary Journal. The poet Jessica Q. Stark (author of Savage Pageant and editor of AGNI), commented, "Becca Yenser’s Bang the Dream is a revving engine, a clandestine swig under black sky, a series of torn portraits in which everyone feels a little bit haunted." The writer Kevin Maloney (Cult of Loretta), reviewing Bang the Dream, remarks, "Like the best of Lucia Berlin or Denis Johnson, Becca Yenser paints broken people against ecstatic landscapes: grievers moon-gazing in Ireland, junkies nodding off next to a Kansas River, an Albuquerque drug dealer fly fishing with the pink Sandias looming in the distance." Yenser was born in Iowa, raised in Oregon, and currently resides in New Mexico.
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