In this course, we will explore three forms of second-person: “you” as the reader, “you” as the speaker and “you” as a specific person being addressed. We will look into what each of these types of second-person have to offer our fiction stories, both by reading excerpts of stories written in second-person—Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Junot Diaz’s “Flaca” & “Alma”, Sigrid Nunez’s The Friend, Italo Calvino’s If on a winter’s night a traveler, Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad and Grayson Morley’s “Brent, Bandit King”—and writing our own stories in these three forms of “you”. What benefits are there in a story written in letters? Why, in some stories, might a speaker separate themself from the plot by using “you” instead of “I”? And what about the most well-known type of second-person, where the reader themself is placed in the story—why is this so rarely successful? What about these types of “you” work and how can we avoid the elements of second-person that give it its notorious reputation? We will explore all of this and more in this course on second-person point-of-view. Hope to see *you* there!
Angela Tharpe is a writer, teacher and house plant enthusiast. Hailing from Jackson, Tennessee, she has also lived in Iowa, where she attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop as a Truman Capote fellow, and Texas, where she received her BA in English: Professional Writing at Baylor University. Mainly a fiction writer, Angela has also written and taught nonfiction and poetry. She is currently revising her speculative novel Do Not Speak of the World, which explores race, gender and queerness through the lens of religion. Angela is represented by Ayesha Pande Literary.
Angela is new to The Porch. Welcome!