Each year the course looks at different writers from the UK and other English speaking countries.
You will be guided through their reading and analysis and extra material will be provided by the teacher.
If wished you can do research to present in class, or written work.
The aim of the course will be to give you an overall view of the chosen writers and books, to improve your analytical reading and to provide the context within which the writers have formed their styles.
This year's course
This year’s books cover the English-speaking world; a story of a Maori community in New Zealand and its clash with White New Zealand, an American ghost story, frequently cited as ‘the best ghost story of the 20th century’ and the inspiration for several films and a new TV series and a collection of English short stories covering the last two centuries.
We’ll move between worlds connected to nature and money, supernatural and ‘real’, pre-industrial and computer ages. Is the short story long enough to satisfy the reader? Are ghost stories more than just entertainment? Can stories capture an identity – English or Maori or ghost?
Reading is done for homework – usually about 30 pages. In class we discuss the writing and language, plot and style. Radio and TV programmes are used to supplement the lessons and tangents are encouraged! Students may submit written work if they wish (the teacher will provide suggestions).
Shirley Jackson - The Haunting of Hill House
ISBN 978 0141 191447 (Penguin Classics)
Patricia Grace - Potiki
ISBN 978 0241041355 (Penguin Classics)
A.S. Byatt (ed.) Oxford Book of English Short Stories
ISBN 978 019 956 1605 (Oxford UP)