8-Week: Writing Noir Fiction


There’s been a lot written about what noir is and what noir isn’t. Dennis Lehane once famously defined it as “working-class tragedy,” where instead of falling from great heights, the protagonists fall from the curb. Eddie Muller has a slightly different take, writing that, “Noir does not call for ironic detachment. It calls for the ultimate commitment: a willingness to go to the darkest places and remain compassionate in the face of hopelessness.” 
Whatever definition you use, noir is as central to American literature as jazz is to American music. In this eight week course, we’ll read two to three short noir novels (picked entirely idiosyncratically by the instructor), discuss them, and then turn our attention to how noir can inform our own writing. The goal is not to get students to write noir, but to see how pushing things a little darker, getting to the edge of our comfort zones, can inform our work. Students are invited to bring works-in-progress to workshop and revise, or to start anew with fresh material.
Required Reading:
Zero Saints, by Gabino Iglesias 
Fourth of July Creek, by Smith Henderson
 *Copies of these books are available to Lighthouse students at a 10% discount at the Tattered Cover on Colfax. Simply tell a Tattered Cover employee you are enrolled in a course at Lighthouse and they will direct you to where the books are shelved.  

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