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Contemporary Literature

Corner of a bedroom with a window

Focused on writings from the 1990s to the present, this course on contemporary literature will be divided into three units--on creative non-fiction, the novel, and the short story.  We will read works by authors from the United States, Ireland, Britain, South Africa, and Canada, and focus on formal, thematic and historical concerns evoked by these recent texts.  Some of the authors we will study include David Foster Wallace, Geoff Dyer, Zadie Smith, Wayne Johnston, Deborah Levy, Donal Ryan, Mat Johnson, Susan Choi, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Lydia Davis.  Come with a curiosity about recent historical events, the mysterious bonds of family, the conundrums and challenges of contemporary life, and the sometimes zany forms that contemporary writing takes.


Assessments consist of:

  • Class participation
  • Four writing assignments
  • A final exam



  • ENGL 200
  • ENGL 290

Department of English, Queen's University

Watson Hall
49 Bader Lane
Kingston ON K7L 3N6

Telephone (613) 533-2153



Queen's University is situated on traditional Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe territory.