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Anti-Narrative Arcs: Experimental Fiction Workshop with Angie Sijun Lou

Photo by Madeline Rose.

What is experimental fiction? What is the history of this aesthetic term, and how is it defined against more traditional modes of storytelling?

Anne Boyer writes, “Genre weakens, explodes, collapses, restabilizes. It’s supposed to. It is always assassinating itself, and out of new blood, new versions arise.” In this four-session workshop, we will discuss short stories and novel excerpts that trouble the conflict-resolution model that we have come to recognize in contemporary American fiction.

What do we resist when we resist the formation of coherent literary subjects that seamlessly assimilate their realities using a logic cultivated by Western humanism? By experimenting with narrative modes that don’t adhere to the stylistic convention and formal strategies of fiction, we will broaden the horizon of what is possible in the space of a story.

This is a generative workshop, which means that each week we will spend the first hour of class discussing the assigned texts, and then move into writing exercises for the second hour. Topics we will discuss include narrative form, non-linear time, and voice-driven stories. We will read work by Amina Cain, Cristina Rivera Garza, Yoko Ogawa, Renee Gladman, Garielle Lutz, Lisa Robertson, and others.


Limited to 15 participants.

Tuesdays April 18–May 9 6:30-8:30 pm
Tuesday, May 9, 2023
6:30 pm


Et al. gallery & bookstore

2831 Mission Street, SF


Wheelchair accessible.

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Angie Sijun Lou

Angie Sijun Lou is a Fiction Editor at FENCE and a Ph.D. Candidate in Creative Writing at UC Santa Cruz. Her writing has appeared in ZYZZYVAThe Kenyon ReviewJoylandBest Small Fictions, BOMB, American Poetry ReviewThe Margins, Black Warrior Review, and elsewhere. With Karen Tei Yamashita, she is the co-editor of the anthology Dark Soil: Fictions and Mythographies, forthcoming with Coffee House Press in Spring 2024. She has received scholarships and fellowships from Kundiman, Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, Tin House Writers' Workshop, Millay Arts, Ragdale Foundation, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, Vermont Studio Center, California Arts Council, Academy of American Poets, Los Angeles Review of Books, and the Mendocino Coast Writers' Conference.

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