Novellas: Women Deceived, Duped, and Destroyed

Course Leaders
Day of Week: Thursday
Course Length: 5 weeks
Starting: 11/04/2021
Ending: 12/09/2021
Period of Day: Period 2
Course Fee: $50.00
Standard period time.

Course Description:

Meet five woman who are betrayed, hoodwinked, and destroyed: a 16th century woman whose husband leaves their home promising to return, but when he does, who really is he?; a Victorian-age post-partem mother who slowly slips into madness; a sister of a “slow” brother who manipulates an older woman to get her money and assets; an African-American who pretends she’s white and faces horrible consequences; and a dishonored bride who is returned to her home on her wedding night because she isn’t a virgin.

This course was recommended by participants who attended my first course on novellas. They requested another novella class with women protagonists and/or written by women. Even though this course focuses on females, I believe it will also appeal to men because of the unique stories and literary quality.

The novella is a form of fiction that is shorter than a novel and longer than a short story (usually about 150 pages) and has only one plot line. We will read five novellas by international writers. By examining the themes, characters, plots, writing styles, tone, and language, we will gain greater understanding and appreciation of each author’s writing skill. In addition, we will relate the ideas expressed in each novella to our individual lives and today’s societal challenges. The class will be a combination of mini-lectures, videos, and discussion.

Participant preparation will involve a few hours per week, depending on individual speed of reading.

Books and Other Resources:

The Wife of Martin Guerre by Janet Lewis

Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

The True Deceiver by Tove Jansson

Passing, by Nella Larsen

Course Leader Bio(s)

Alice Freedman

As a LLAIC board member and course leader, I have taught Selected Works of Ian McEwan twice, Novellas once, and Going to the Dogs once. After years as a high school English teacher, my second career was in Organizational Development and Learning at Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates. I have a B.A. in English Literature from Boston University and an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Boston College. Discussing literature with other readers and finding its relevance to today’s world and to us as individuals brings me much joy.