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Tao Lin’s Syllabus

November 30, 2014

I just found this while doing some research. I hadn’t really looked for it since his class ended, but I don’t think this had been posted while I did the bulk of this blog. 5 of the stories featured here were taught in his class.

Curtis Sittenfeld (b. 1975) “1993-94” from Mississippi Review (1999)
~7400 words | Thom Jones commentary | ending analysis
James Purdy (1914 – 2009) “Color of Darkness” from “Color of Darkness” (1957)
~4200 words | Gore Vidal essay | NYTimes review | NYTimes obituary | more info

Lorrie Moore (b. 1957) “Willing” from “Birds of America” (1998)
~6000 words | 2005 interview
Kevin Brockmeier (b. 1972) “The Ceiling” from “Things That Fall From The Sky” (2002)
~5000 words

Todd Hasak-Lowy “The End of Larry’s Wallet” from “The Task of This Translator” (2005)
~15,800 words
Rebecca Curtis “The Wolf at The Door” from “Twenty Grand” (2007)
~2300 words

10/01 Charles Johnson (b. 1948)
“China” from “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” (1986)
“Kwoon” from “Dr. King’s Refrigerator” (2005)
beliefs | 2010 interview

10/08 “Kmart realism”/”minimalism”
“On The New Fiction” issue of Mississippi Review (1985)
“Less is Less: The Dwindling American Short Story” essay in Harper’s (1986)
Frederick Barthelme (b. 1943) “Driver” from “Chroma” (1987)
on own writing | 1988 essay “On Being Wrong: Convicted Minimalism Spills Beans”
Ann Beattie (b. 1947) “Shifting” from “Secrets and Surprises” (1978)
Bobbie Ann Mason (b. 1940) “Graveyard Day” from “Shiloh and Other Stories” (1982)
1997 interview | 2012 interview
Mary Robison (b. 1949) “Pretty Ice” from “Days” (1979)

10/15 Joy Williams (b. 1944) (view questions/answers here) (scroll down)
“Train” from “Taking Care” (1982)
“Rot” from “Escapes” (1990)
“Honored Guest” from “Honored Guest” (2005)
“Shifting Things” essay
“Why I Write” essay from “Ill Nature” (2001)
2005 interview re “Honored Guest”

10/22 (NO CLASS)

Lydia Davis (b. 1947)
“Story” “Five Signs of Disturbance” from “Break It Down” (1986)
“The Silence of Mrs. Iln” from “Varieties of Disturbance” (2007)
Amy Hempel (b. 1951)
“In The Cemetery Where Al Jonson is Buried” from “Reasons To Live” (1985)
“To Those of You Who Missed…” from “At The Gates of The Animal Kingdom” (1990)

11/05 Noon Magazine
issue 13
TLS article | Wikipedia
Diane Williams ( b. 1946) “Very, Very, Red” from “Romancer Erector” (2001)

11/12 “postmodernism”/”metafiction”
Donald Barthelme (1931 – 1989)
“Robert Kennedy Saved From Drowning” from “Unspeakable Practices…” (1968)
1981 interview | archive of stories/essays/etc.
John Barth (b. 1930)
“Lost in The Funhouse” from “Lost in The Funhouse” (1968)
1986 essay “A Few Words About Minimalism”

George Saunders (b. 1958)
“CivilWarLand in Bad Decline” from “CivilWarLand in Bad Decline” (1996)
2005 interview | 2012 interview
Patrick Somerville
“Trouble and The Shadowy Deathblow” from “Trouble” (2006)
~9000 words

David Foster Wallace (1962 – 2008)
“Forever Overhead” from “Brief Interviews with Hideous Men” (1999)
“Good Old Neon” from “Oblivion” (2004)
Sherman Alexie (b. 1966)
“What You Pawn I Will Redeem” from the New Yorker (2003)
~6000 words | 2003 interview

12/03 post 2000 & internet
Trinie Dalton “Bienvenido el Duende” from “Wide Eyed” (2005)
Ofelia Hunt “Don’t Slide The Couches” from (2006)
Deb Olin Unferth “La Peña” from “Minor Robberies” (2007)
Matthew Rohrer (b. 1970) “Dog Boy” “Mongolian Death Worm” from “A Green Light” (2004)
Sam Pink (b. 1983) “Juliana” “Bees” from “Hurt Others” (2011)
Mazie Louise Montgomery “In a Moose Language…” from (2007)
Miles Ross (b. 1984) “Bad Smelling Person in Nautica” from (2009)
Sheila Heti (b. 1976) “The Poet and The Novelist as Roommates” from “The Middle Stories” (2001)
John Haskell “Dream of a Clean Slate” from “I Am Not Jackson Pollock” (2003)
Michael Earl Craig “A Gorgeous Hotel, In a Grand City” from “Yes, Master” (2006)
Noah Cicero (b. 1980) “A Cold Wind Blows Tonight” from (2008)
Gary Lutz “Middletown” from Agricultural Reader, issue 4 (2011)
R.B. Glaser “Butt Teen” from Capgun, issue 2 (2008)
Tara Wray “Flatbed, Seabed” from Pindeldyboz, issue 3 (2003)
Brandon Scott Gorrell (b. 1984) “Jeffrey, Vincent, Jeffrey… ” from (2009)
Megan Boyle (b. 1985) “Clams” from (2009)

Grace Paley (1922 – 2007) “Mother” from “Later The Same Day” (1985)
Larry Brown (1951 – 2004) “92 Days” from “Big Bad Love” (1990)
Denis Johnson (b. 1949) “Emergency” from “Jesus’ Son” (1992)

12/17 Sherman Alexie (b. 1966)
The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven (1993)


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