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In this class we’ll explore the power of politics—broadly and personally defined—in the creation of fictional worlds. How does a contemporary writer deal with current events that easily outstrip the imagination? What is the most effective use of one’s sincere political beliefs? How does a writer battle false ideology? How does a writer harness rank anger? Students will come having read pieces by George Orwell, Doris Lessing, and George Saunders, and ready to discuss politics as character, politics as plot, politics as voice. And then we’ll start writing. Healing not guaranteed.
Jon Raymond is the author of two novels, Rain Dragon and The Half-Life, and the short-story collection Livability. His work has appeared in Tin House, The Village Voice, Bookforum, and other places. He lives in Portland, Oregon.