Reading 1968: Three short novels; Muriel Spark, Barry Hines & Elizabeth Taylor

Ref: C3531053

Join us in discussing three short novels that present contrasting portraits of the late 1960s. We will be comparing and contrasting their shape and scope, and thinking about how the characters are presented, as we ask, what is good fiction? Carol Shields once said that on a first reading, she had “mistaken Spark’s amusing style for a lightness of subject matter”; Barry Hines has been described as 'the voice of his community'; Elizabeth Taylor was often dismissed as a 'demure' writer, 'too civilised' to be considered as a 'serious' writer. We will consider these ideas, and many more as we investigate what each of the novelists has to say, and how they say it. Please read to the end of chapter four, of The Public Image by Muriel Spark for discussion at the first session.

Additional information about this course

There is no session on 17th February

Course aim

To discuss our experience of reading three novels published in 1968, and consider how the writers reflect society.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Compare and contrast approaches to story telling in the three novels.
  • Express opinions and responses to texts with increased confidence
  • Identify significant topics, issues and ideas in the texts

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning
  • The tutor will provide a reading schedule for the course, so that we can discuss set sections of the novels each week. We will be discussing the first four chapters of The Public Image at the first session.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • There will be a number of tasks appropriate to your course such as written work, creating art or craft, video, photography or small projects. Some of these may be marked to help you progress

What else do I need to know?

  • You will need copies of: The Public Image, by Muriel Spark A Kestrel for a Knave, by Barry Hines The Wedding Group, by Elizabeth Taylor

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • Please read the first four chapters of The Public Image, by Muriel Spark, for discussion at the first session.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information http://pearl.open.ac.uk/
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here http://www.wea.org.uk/learn-wea/what-can-i-do-next
  • join a reading group join a writing group

Download full course information sheet

Reading 1968: Three short novels; Muriel Spark, Barry Hines & Elizabeth Taylor

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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