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PJ Seminar: Our Strange World: A Master Class on the Surreal and Apocalyptic with Akil Kumarasamy

$70.00 · April 23

In this class, we will be looking at surreal and dystopian texts to see how writers have made sense of the “overwhelming and unstructured experience of lived history” (Kermode). We will discuss how writers effectively include surreal elements in their fiction, and what tools and strategies we can implement in our own writing.

Start Date

April 23

Day(s) of the Week

Tuesday

Class Times

7:00pm – 9:00pm CT

Sessions

1

Location

Zoom (online)

Instructor

Price

$70

In stock

Description

In this class, we will be looking at surreal and dystopian texts to see how writers have made sense of the “overwhelming and unstructured experience of lived history” (Kermode).

The pandemic has created its own language surrounding it that can very much sound like the world building found in science-fiction. As we look toward the future, what does it mean to “return to normal” and how does surreal and dystopian literature allow us to grapple with and re-envision reality? By reading excerpts of works from Franz Kafka, Yoko Ogawa, Augustine Bazterrica, Kobo Abe, and Octavia Butler, we will discuss how writers effectively include surreal elements in their fiction, and what tools and strategies we can implement in our own writing.

About Akil Kumarasamy

Akil Kumarasamy is the author of the novel, Meet Us by the Roaring Sea (FSG, 2022), shortlisted for the Ursula K. Le Guin Prize and Lambda Literary Award, and the linked story collection, Half Gods, (FSG, 2018), which was named a New York TimesEditors’ Choice, was awarded the Bard Fiction Prize and the Story Prize Spotlight Award, and was a finalist for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize. Her work has appeared in Harper’s Magazine, The Atlantic, American Short Fiction, BOMB, among others. She has received fellowships from the University of East Anglia, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Yaddo, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. She is an assistant professor in the Rutgers University-Newark MFA program.