In this six-week seminar, we will explore the works of award-winning contemporary writers Leslie Marmon Silko, Annie Proulx, and Claire Vaye Watkins and how they confront, disrupt, challenge, and complicate the dominant narrative of the West. Leslie Marmon Silko’s now classic novel Ceremony weaves desert landscape and tribal origin stories into a tale of a returning war veteran’s trauma and healing. In Close Range: The Wyoming Stories, the first of three short story collections unified by setting, Annie Proulx tells the hard luck tales of Wyoming’s inhabitants in her exacting prose. The stories are merciless, yet beautifully rendered, the antithesis of a romanticized cowboy tale. Claire Vaye Watkins rounds out the seminar with her stunning debut short story collection Battleborn, set in the Mojave Desert and Death Valley regions of the California-Nevada border.
Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko
Close Range: The Wyoming Stories by Annie Proulx
Battleborn by Claire Vaye Watkins