Reading for Writers: Flannery O’Connor and Bernard Malamud with Steve Polansky         

Though it’s been said many times, many ways: one must read to write. This class is founded on the premise that you can’t write, or write very well, without reading. Without reading a great deal. And the great stuff.   

In this class we will read and discuss short stories by two of the most important and influential 20th-century American masters of the form: Flannery O’Connor (1925 -1964), a severe, “all in,” “Christ haunted” Roman Catholic from the deep South and; Bernard Malamud (1914 – 1986), a gentle, quasi-mystical Jewish bard from Brooklyn. An odd couple to be sure, but an instructive one.

[Note: Participants are advised to get hold in advance copies of Malamud’s The Magic Barrel (winner of the 1959 National Book Award), and O’Connor’s game-changing debut collection, A Good Man is Hard To Find (1955). Used paperback copies of both can be had, at Amazon and elsewhere, very cheaply.)