Currently on the curriculum for the Ohio State University course, An Introduction to Fiction is Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. I’ve also heard of some other high schools and universities using it as an introduction to fiction or gothic fiction courses. At first I felt sorry for all the future English majors who will have to read this book. But I thought, instead of bad mouthing the book (which is so easy to do), I would take some time and think about what I would want to see in an introductory course of fiction.
I started by compiling a list of topics I would want to cover if I ever did a course about fiction. I narrowed it down to ten key topics when looking at fiction;
- Point of view
It was the last point that stood out to me more than any of the other topics. When looking at good fiction, I would want to look at the issues that drive the discussions about these books. With this I picked out five books that would explore moral, social, philosophical or intellectual issues. When picking the books, I also tried to pick different genres and writing styles that make for a great read.
So if I was to create an introduction to Fiction course, my reading list would include;
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
- Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
- Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
- Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
I would love to know what you would pick for a reading list if you were to lead a similar course.