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58 IntroSems. 25 Stanford fountains. 1 Spring 2020. Don’t suffer from FoHo FoMo!
Family Trees: The Multigenerational Novel
We are familiar with novels that feature a single protagonist, but what happens when the protagonist is an entire family? How do novelists create page-turning stories that span decades instead of days? In this seminar, we will read novels by three writers who do just this, while writing a chapter of what may one day be our own multigenerational novels. We will delve into our family stories and histories, and consider the benefits and drawbacks of conducting research for a work of fiction. In doing so, we will wrestle with the challenges that confront all novelists, whether their novels are multigenerational or not: the balance between veracity and the imagination; the risks and benefits of writing about people who really existed; and the work that goes into conceiving of and creating an ambitious work of art.