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All Levels | As Elizabeth Bowen wrote, “Speech is what characters do to each other.” The best dialogue is the nastiest: the sharpest, the most conflict-driving, the most layered and fraught, the truest to our contemporary experience of inattention and misunderstanding. We’ll look at how good dialogue cuts, examining scenes by Joan Didion, Lorrie Moore, ZZ Packer, and others. You’ll bring a dialogue-driven scene to class and have the opportunity to sharpen it—and, should you feel so inclined, to share it.
Alex Madison's fiction and nonfiction have appeared or are forthcoming in the Indiana Review, Witness, Salon, Bitch Media, The Rumpus, City Arts and elsewhere. She is a former high school teacher and a recent graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she taught literature, fiction and nonfiction.