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The classic short story focuses on what William Faulkner called “the human heart in conflict with itself.” In this workshop, we will analyze a story to see how that conflict drives story structure. We will then generate story ideas, evaluate them with the help of our classmates and, time allowing, write an opening paragraph ripe with promise. Experienced writers welcome but no experience necessary.
Gish Jen has published short work in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, and dozens of other periodicals, anthologies and textbooks. Her work has appeared in The Best American Short Stories four times, including The Best American Short Stories of the Century, edited by John Updike. Nominated for a National Book Critics’ Circle Award, her work was featured in a PBS American Masters’ special on the American novel and is widely taught.
Jen is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has been awarded a Lannan Literary Award for Fiction, a Guggenheim fellowship, a Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study fellowship, and a Mildred and Harold Strauss Living; she has also delivered the William E. Massey, Sr. Lectures in the History of American Civilization at Harvard University. Her newest novel is her eighth book. Called THE RESISTERS, it will be published by Knopf in February 2020.