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The cultural role and critical reception of fiction written by women is at the heart of an ongoing debate within the literary community: if there’s a difference between “men’s” and “women’s” fiction, what defines “women’s” fiction, how cultural perceptions of gender determine the reception of women writers’ work? The work of the women behind these issues will be at the center of this class. We’ll read short stories by six contemporary women writers, including Joan Silber and Yiyun Li, along with a handful of relevant critical essays. Each student will write and workshop a story developed in response to or influenced by the work of a female contemporary.
Kirsten Sundberg Lunstrum is the author of two books of short fiction-- This Life She's Chosen and Swimming With Strangers (both published by Chronicle Books). Her short stories and essays have been published widely in journals, and she has been the recipient of a PEN/O. Henry Prize and a MacDowell Colony Fellowship. She taught creative writing at Purchase College, SUNY from 2008-2012, and now teaches as an adjunct faculty member at several schools in the Seattle area.