Often in conversations about literature we pay a lot of attention to the genre of the novel, respecting its heft and range. But the American literary canon boasts many great short story writers, among them two twentieth-century greats: Eudora Welty and Flannery O’Connor. Their portrayals of the American South and its people stick in the memory the way great poetry does, but the short story form allows space to develop more richness and insight than the compression of poetry typically provides. We will read selected short stories by Welty and O’Connor, trying to rediscover and assess their unique contributions to the canon. Assignments will be made from The Collected Short Stories of Flannery O’Connor (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) and Thirteen Stories by Eudora Welty (A Harvest Book: Harcourt, Brace & Company).
Instructor John Ward has been professor and chair of Kenyon College (Gambier, Ohio) English Department and has served as Dean of Centre College (Danville, Kentucky). He earned his B.A. from Amherst College and Ph.D. from the University of Virginia, and has taught courses in 18th- and 19th-century British literature and the history of the British novel. He has published on 18th- and 19th-century British works, as well as those of Vachel Lindsay and Robert Lowell.
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