Short Stories (Alice Walker & A.S. Byatt)

On June 26th 2013 we will be discussing two short stories by Alice Walker and A.S. Byatt. In your reading of Alice Walker’s ‘Everyday Use’ (1973) and A. S. Byatt, ‘Art Work’ (1993) you may find the resources and questions on this page will illuminate your reading experience.

Alice Walker, 1989

Alice Walker (1989). By MDCarchives [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

AS Byatt Portrait

AS Byatt. By Seamus Kearney [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Book club podcast

Posted by on Jul 21, 2013 in Book 3 - Short Stories | 0 comments

Dr Susan Watkins joins the Leeds Metropolitan University Book Club for a discussion of two short stories by Alice Walker and A.S. Byatt. The discussion makes reference to the CWWA Book Club discussion points, but ranges widely as book club members provide their own responses to these texts. Do you agree or disagree with any of the issues raised? Dr Susan Watkins joins the Leeds Metropolitan University Book Club for a discussion of two short stories by Alice Walker and A.S. Byatt. Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Web Resources on Alice Walker and A.S. Byatt

Posted by on May 7, 2013 in Book 3 - Short Stories | 0 comments

Alice Walker Walker’s official site An interview with The Guardian, in which Walker discusses writing and feminism. The Alice Walker Literary Society homepage. A. S. Byatt A comprehensive resource with full bibliography, details of speaking engagements, journalism and a bibliography of academic work on Byatt’s writing. Byatt’s British Council page. NY Times reviews of Byatt’s work, including her earlier books. A short story by Byatt, ‘Sea Story’, published as part of an exclusive series in The...

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Suggested further reading…

Posted by on May 2, 2013 in Book 3 - Short Stories | 0 comments

If you like Alice Walker’s ‘Everyday Use’ and A. S. Byatt’s ‘Art Work’ you might also like . . . A. S. Byatt, The Matisse Stories (1993). Byatt’s story, ‘Art Work’, is one of three stories in this collection and, as the title indicates, all are centrally concerned with a particular artist. In ‘Medusa’s Ankles’, the relationship between Susannah, a middle-aged translator, and Lucien, her hairdresser in the process of leaving his wife, is played out to an explosive conclusion beneath a reproduction of a voluptuous Matisse...

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Discussion Points

Posted by on May 2, 2013 in Book 3 - Short Stories | 2 comments

In the most engaging way, these stories ask profound questions about aesthetics – about what art is, who produces it, how and where. They also suggest that art, far from being a rarefied area, is involved with politics, whether the intimate power struggles of family life or larger political issues. In these two stories we encounter five characters who could claim to be ‘artists’: Mama and Maggie in ‘Everyday Use’; Robin, Debbie and Mrs Brown in ‘Art Work’. Yet Robin is the only one who seriously makes that claim. Do you see all...

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