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If we are trained to despise sentimentality, how do we represent sentiment? This class will examine emotion across a range of works – from Leo Tolstoy to Anne Carson – in considering this primal, impossible, necessary question: how can writing evoke feeling? We’ll also do some writing of our own to explore the role that metaphor, sensation, and exposition might play in these evocations.
Leslie Jamison is the author of the novel The Gin Closet and a collection of essays, The Empathy Exams, which won the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize and garnered praise in a number of publications, including the New York Times and a place on Entertainment Weekly’s “Must List.” Her work has appeared or will appear in places like Harper’s, Oxford American, A Public Space, Virginia Quarterly Review, and the Believer. She’s a columnist for the New York Times Book Review and is currently finishing a doctoral dissertation at Yale about addiction narratives. She lives in Brooklyn.