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The most important, vital element of fiction might be one that we don’t think or talk much about: time, its passage, its measurement, its subversion. We’ll talk about how to use time in fiction—clocks and frames and shelves—but we’ll also talk about that equally important, inexorable passage of time—on the poor writer. Suggested reading prior to class: “Pet Milk” by Stuart Dybek, “I Stand Here Ironing” by Tillie Olson, “Going for a Beer” by Robert Coover, and “My Documents” by Alejandro Zambra.
Jess Walter is a former National Book Award finalist, winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award, and the author of eight books, including, most recently, We Live in Water, Stories (2013) and Beautiful Ruins (2012), a New York Times No. 1 best-seller and Notable Book of 2012. He also wrote The Financial Lives of Poets in 2009, which was Time Magazine’s No. 2 novel of the year.