Post-45 American Fiction

Identity, simply put, is weird! Much like the artwork below, the idea of identity, especially a national identity, usually implies a well-defined outline that is often complicated by a diffusive interior. Given how identity works both to define and to dissolve, we’ll tackle questions surrounding the construction and constructedness of identity—at the level of the nation but also more localized spaces like the community and the self. We’ll also traverse other broad topics like aesthetics, postmodernism, and literary theory.


John Okada, No-No Boy (1957)

Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49 (1966)

Ishmael Reed, Flight to Canada (1976)

Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony (1977)

John DeLillo, White Noise (1985)

Sandra Cisneros, Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories (1991)

Alison Bechdel, Fun Home (2006)

Toni Morrison, A Mercy (2008)

Ben Lerner, Leaving the Atocha Station (2011)