Physical and psychological illness have long been a prominent theme in literature. In this course we critically read a wide array of the
illness narrative genre, from literary classics like Albert Camus The
Plague to more recent autobiographical narratives.
Over the course of the semester we will read novels, poems, memoirs, as well as historical and journalistic accounts of illness, broadly defined. What are the
limits of expressing pain and disease with literary forms, and how do
authors use metaphor, dialogue, and description?
How have illness
narratives changed over time, especially with the late 20th century
popularity of autobiography and non-fiction?