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The Range of Literary Realism: Four Masterpieces of 21st Century Fiction

May 2, 2023 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT

An insightful and profound series of classes on literature from the Westport Library’s newly launched Verso University, a year-round offering of high-level classes, workshops, and lectures designed for lifelong learning.

This series of four classes are presented by Dr. Mark Schenker, senior associate dean, Yale College,  and dean of academic affairs and a renowned lecturer in English at Yale University. The novels were chosen by Dr. Schenker as they reflect the range of Literary Realism as portrayed in 21st century fiction.

The novels are considered masterpieces, three of which are ranked by The Guardian in the Top 50 of  “100 Best Books of the 21st Century.” The first choice (as listed below), Wolf Hall by Hillary Mantel, is ranked at #1. That novel, along with Life after Life,  are works of historical fiction set on large stages — Tudor England and mid-20th century Britain, respectively. The other two have a more intimate focus on family life and children. Taken together, they reflect the remarkable variety of what skilled novelists can do within the limits of what we recognize as “realism.”

Please register here. It is expected that participants will have read the first book by the first class, as well as be able to attend the series.

Classes will meet in Brooks Place, from 2 to 3 pm, on alternate Tuesdays, as follows:

April 4, Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel (2009)
April 18, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon (2003)
May 2, Life after Life, Kate Atkinson (2013)
May 16, Small Things Like These, Claire Keegan (2021)

Verso University programs are made possible by the generous support of the Nancy J. Beard Lifelong Learning and Education Fund.

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May 2, 2023
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
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The Westport Library
20 Jesup Road
Westport, CT 06880 United States
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