Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Independent Reading Project: 1st person narratives

My biggest goal this year (since it is your senior year) is to transition you to life beyond high school--in other words, to make myself unnecessary in your life (in less than ten months.) So, I must hand over much of the responsibility of the class to you. In addition to what we study as "whole class texts," you will also be reading books in literature circles as well as independently this year. Our first "unit" (obviously with the college essay in mind) will cover 1st person narratives (fiction or non-fiction). As you choose a book, you may also want to start to consider what "topic" you are interested in, because we will develop reading plans for ourselves after this first memoir.Here's a short list of suggestions, but it is up to you to do the research on the books and make sure they fit your criteria. My criteria is that they should be at least 150 pages long (we can fill in the gaps with supplements if need be.)

Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
Chasing Ghosts by Paul Rieckhoff
Chronicles by Bob Dylan
Lipstick Jihad by Azadeh Moaveni
Kafir Boy by Mark Mathabane
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson
Dead Man Walking by Sister Helen Prejean
Gray's Anatomy by Spalding Gray (or anything by Spalding Gray)
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris (or anything by David Sedaris)
When I Was Cool by Sam Kashner
The Autobiography of Malcolm X (as told to Alex Haley)

And some other first person narratives (fiction):
Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest Gaines
On the Road by Jack Kerouac (or any number of his novels)
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
Nadja by Andre Breton
Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Native Son by Richard Wright
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

You will need a copy of the book you choose on Friday, November 20th in class. Please plan accordingly.

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