Lesson 1 (from Chapter 1, The Writer's Nature, Pages 1-34)
Introduction to the Book and Author
John Gardner (1933 -1982) was a well-known American novelist and scholar. Gardner taught fictional writing and medieval literature courses at a number of universities, and headed the writing program at SUNY-Binghamton from 1978 until his death in 1982. Gardner's best known fictional works include Grendel, a retelling of the Beowulf myth, The Sunlight Dialogues and Nickel Mountain. On Becoming a Novelist explores many fundamental elements of writing, teaching, and publishing for the young or aspiring writer. In today's class, students are introduced to the author and his works and will research Gardner's biographical and literary history.
1) Research Activity: Students should take time in class to do independent research on Gardner's career, works, style, themes and biography. Students should take notes or reserve printouts of their information for the following activities.
2) Group Activity: Assign the class into small groups of 3-4 each. Each...
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