An Ongoing, Erratic Diary
|1 November 2012, 11:21 AM|
|SF/F question here. I've been asked to modify my "Writers of Color in Speculative Fiction" course for next spring to make it an American lit. class. No problem, but it does mean cutting about two-thirds of my texts and substituting other ones. Which is just fine, since trying to cover the subject for the world of literature was insanely ambitious to begin with; it's just way too much material for a class. So, I'm soliciting recommendations for awesome American authors / titles for this course -- who and what do you love?
(Note: I think I can squeeze in some Canadian authors too, under North American, but South American definitely falls into a different category. Strange are the ways of the academy.)
These are the texts I was using before:
Cosmos Latinos, ed. Andrea L. Bell
Half-World, Hiromi Goto
I'm probably keeping the Goto, Delany, Butler, and Tan, along with Dark Matter, all of which worked really well last time. I'll have to lose Cosmos Latinos, I think all my selections from the Apex Book, and possibly the ones from So Long Been Dreaming (will have to check carefully to see where each story is from). I'm not certain about Midnight Robber -- they liked it, but I'm not sure it spoke to them quite as strongly as some of the others, and the main complaint the students had about the course was that the reading load was too heavy; I may use Nalo's "Ganger Ball Lightning" story instead of one of her novels.
Other suggestions? Stories in particular would be very helpful; if I find them early enough, I can have the bookstore put together a course packet, which helps with the 'not-yet-anthologized' difficulty.
Which Ted Chiang story would you include, for example? ("Story of Your Life" is my favorite, but it's long.) Which Nnedi Okorafor? (Or is it worth cutting one of the other texts, so I can include her World Fantasy-award-winning novel _Who Fears Death_?) Ugh. Also, once I lose Cosmos Latinos, I am really short on Latino writers, so could really use help seeking those out.
In general, I would prefer writers who are solidly grounded in the genre for this course, as opposed to mainstream-published writers who come in under magical realism, etc. Although I might make them read some excerpts from Rushdie, Borges, Marquez, etc. to start the course, just to give them some context and a transition from the kind of literature they're more used to. (This is a 400-level class, so mostly seniors and English majors.)
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