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American Fiction by Minority Writers: Dr Sharon Priestley

"On this course, we focus on the excellent writings of Americans from a variety of racial and cultural backgrounds. What perspectives do these writers have? Do they share any problems, issues or interests? We shall analyse three titles to discover the answers to those questions and more. First, we shall read Jhumpa Lahiri's collection of nine short stories entitled Interpreter of Maladies (1999), which won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2000. We learn about the lives of Indians from the sub-continent and Indian-Americans who are caught between their roots and the 'New World'. Next, we discuss The Color Purple (1982) by Alice B. Walker, who depicts the difficult life of a young black girl born into poverty and segregation. Finally, we read The Spider Woman's Daughter (2013), by Anne Hillerman, it’s an intriguing novel concerning the Navajo Tribal Police's two detectives who are engaged in crime-solving. Hillerman won the 2014 Western Writers of American Spur Award for best first novel. 

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Tutor: Dr Sharon Priestley

"Dr Sharon Priestley has presented literature courses for the University of Cambridge's Institute of Continuing Education, The Letchworth Settlement, the REC and elsewhere. The topics of her courses range from the novels of Jane Austen to novels that have won the Man Booker Prize, classic and contemporary short stories, poetry, women's writings and children's literature. She also lectures on James Boswell and Samuel Johnson and has given papers focused on those fascinating individuals at the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies conferences and Literary London conferences."