Autofiction: Kinda True Stories with Jenny Bitner
Is it true or is it fiction – and does it matter? Often the lines between memoir and fiction can be blurry. And most of great literature has at least some elements of truth in it, from books that are largely autobiographical like Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior, Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, and Chris Kraus’s Aliens and Anorexia to fictional worlds like Raymond Carver’s and Denis Johnson’s that are drawn from a world that could only be created through personal experience. Lately the term autofiction has been used to describe works like Ocean Vuong, Marguerite Duras, Teju Cole and Annie Ernaux. In this class we will talk about the debate over autofiction versus memoir.
We will explore memories, experiences, and characters from our own lives and turn them into fictional stories, blending the richness of our emotional and felt experiences with elements from our imagination to create compelling writing. We will have writing prompts, in-class exercises, and reading assignments of autofiction and semi-autobiographical fiction. This class is primarily a writing workshop, and your work will be discussed twice in the class. You will be expected to read and comment on classmates’ work.
Scheduled class sessions will take place at 1663 Mission St., Ste. 602, San Francisco, CA, 94103 (classes to take place either in the Mezzanine level or in Suite 602; building access and parking details will be sent to registered students prior to class start date). Proof of vaccination and masking will be required, and all San Francisco health mandates will be followed. Please note that this class may be moved to a virtual format closer to the start date depending on the public health situation.
1663 Mission Street, Ste. 602, S.F.
Dates, Times & Instructors:
Sundays, October 9, 16, 23, 30; November 6, 13; 10am - 12pm PT