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Manifesting Destinies: Modern American Short Fiction

Course Times & Enrolment

Tuesdays from 14th January 2020 (Code LI299-202) Tuesdays from
14th January 2020 2:10pm - 4:00pm • (10 classes)
G44 Paterson's Land, Holyrood Campus • Tutor: Anthony McKibbin BA
This course is now closed for enrolments

Course Summary

The United States isn’t just a country but almost a continent, with riches aplenty beyond material wealth and militaristic might. It is also a country often divided and full of contradictions which its breadth of fiction wonderfully accommodates and explores. Please join us to look at the range available in the modern American short story.

Course Details

Pre-requisites for enrolment

No previous knowledge of the subject is assumed.

Content of Course

1. The Lottery, Shirley Jackson

2. The State of Grace, Harold Brodkey

3. The Magic Barrel, Bernard Malamud

4. Upon the Sweeping Flood, Joyce Carol Oates

5. The Indian Uprising, Donald Barthelme

6. The Baby Sitter, Robert Coover

7. Train, Joy Williams

8. Greenwich Time, Anne Beattie

9. Lechery, Jayne Anne Phillips

10. American Express, James Salter

Teaching method(s)

Discussion based with essay notes.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • Discuss the stories with confidence, analysing its properties and using language that they feel comfortable adopting without simply falling into the opinionated.


Core Readings


  • Ford, Richard, ed. The Book of American Short Stories, 1992, London, Granta.


  • Mullan, John, How Novels Work. 2006, Oxford, Oxford University Press.

  • Lodge, David, ed. Modern Criticism and Theory: A Reader, 1988, Harlow, Longman.


If you have questions regarding the course or enrolment, please contact COL Reception at Paterson's Land by email or by phone 0131 650 4400.

Student support

If you have a disability, learning difficulty or health condition which may affect your studies, please let us know by ticking the 'specific support needs' box on your course application form. This will allow us to make appropriate adjustments in advance and in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010. For more information please visit the Student Support section of our website.