ENGL379N - The Art of Fact: Reading Non-Fiction

This course will sample the major genres of non-fiction: travel, biography, history, news, sports, reviews, science, humor, advice, instruction and true crime. All these genres, based in fact, provide access to people, events and times beyond any one‘s individual experience, but they do so with purposes and partiality that need to be assessed. In addition to reading major authors in different genres, including Theroux, Wolfe, McPhee, Krakauer, and Kolata, the class will also sample recent authors and emerging genres to make judgments about the quality of the writing. Much of the lecture/discussion in class will concern the verifiability of accounts and the selection, arrangement, and expression choices the authors have made. The course will require two short critiques (one nominating a _worst writer_), a longer analysis, a midterm, and a final.

Repeatable to 9 credits if content differs.


Two lower-level English courses, at least one in literature; or permission of department.