Selected Contemporary Novels: Dr Sharon Priestley

"On this discussion-based course we analyse three contemporary novels that feature characters in diverse situations and consider plot, setting, characterisation and message. Emma Healey's Elizabeth is Missing (2014) focuses on an elderly female protagonist who is highly unreliable and fascinating; this novel won the Costa first-novel award. We are Completely Beside Ourselves (2014) by Karen Joy Fowler, was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize and features a most unusual family arrangement. A Man Called Ove (2015), is the delightfully quirky debut novel by Fredrik Backman. Translated from Sedish, the novel depicts a grumpy, yet lovable man. Readers may encounter their neighbours in the books we discuss!"

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."