After Díaz wrote an essay criticizing MFA programs in the New Yorker, Salon got a look at his class syllabus
This is an incredible reading list.
World Building: Some things to consider always when taking on a new world: What are its primary features—spatial, cultural, biological, fantastic, cosmological? What is the world’s ethos (the guiding beliefs or ideals that characterize the world)? What are the precise strategies that are used by its creator to convey the world to us and us to the world? How are our characters connected to the world? And how are we the viewer or reader or player connected to the world?
Advanced Fiction: No sign of Alice Munro or Francine Prose here. As Díaz told Salon: “If race or gender (or any other important social force) are not part of your interpretive logic—if they’re not part of what you consider the real—then you’re leaving out most of what has made our world our world. This is a long way of saying that it’s not the books you teach, but how you teach them.”
Clara by Roberto Bolaño Hitting Budapest by NoViolet Bulawayo Whites by Julie Otsuka Ghosts by Edwidge Danticat My Good Man by Eric Gansworth Gold Boy, Emerald Girl by Yiyun Li Bounty by George Saunders