Please Note: Individual sessions to this course are available for separate purchase as of Oct. 7, 2019.
The American Southwest occupies a central place in the country’s literary imagination. A region in which multiple cultures meet and sometimes clash, and where evidence of ancient peoples informs the landscape, the Southwest intrigued writers even before its incorporation into the nation as distinct states.
Since the early twentieth century, many American writers have represented the Southwest as a place of re-invention and relaxation. They’ve portrayed it as an Eden-like space of great beauty, often imbuing the landscape with religious overtones and a sense of sacredness. Simultaneously, other writers have portrayed the area as dangerous and violent, a place where physical strength and bravery are tested.
Join Lisbeth Strimple Fuisz, a lecturer in the English department at Georgetown University, in spirited lectures and informal discussions about four compelling novels that reflect this mixed tradition in their rich and varied portraits of the Southwest and the people who inhabit it. Participants should read the first prior to class. Sherry and cookies are available for refreshment.
OCT. 21 Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko (1977) follows the trials of Tayo, the mixed-race protagonist who returns to Laguna Pueblo after surviving Japanese prison camp during World War II.
NOV. 18 Bless Me, Ultima by Rodolfo Anaya (1972) charts the experiences of a young boy growing up in New Mexico in the late 1940s and the elderly healer who changes his life.
DEC. 16 Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver (1990) explores a woman’s return to Arizona to confront her past and face her ailing, distant father. A love story and a moving exploration of life's largest commitments.
JAN. 27 All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy (1992) tells the story of a 16-year old who finds himself at the end of a long line of Texas ranchers. He runs away to Mexico with two companions to lead the storybook life of an itinerant cowboy.