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This class will examine three best-selling 21st century novels, one that adapts biographical and historical materials (Maggie O’Farrell’s Hamnet) and two that respond to a particular play. Ian McEwan’s Nutshell presents Hamlet the Prince literally in utero. Margaret Atwood’s novel Hag-Seed reinvents The Tempest as its central character designs and mounts a prison production.
INSTRUCTOR: Virginia Vaughn received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and taught at Clark University for 37 years, where she specialized in Shakespeare and Renaissance Drama. She has published widely on both The Tempest and Othello and has taught several WISE courses.
Helen Whall - After finishing her Ph.D. at Yale University, Helen joined the faculty at The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. There she taught Shakespeare and the Renaissance as well as modern drama, frequently writing on both subjects. Since retiring in 2017, Helen has offered several courses for WISE.
REQUIRED BOOKS: Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell, Vintage. May 18, 2021, ISBN: 978-1984898876. Nutshell by Ian McEwan, Anchor; Reprint ed. May 30, 2017, ISBN: 978-0525431947; Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood, Anchor; Reprint edition (May 30, 2017), ISBN 978-0525431947.
Worcester Institute for Senior Education (WISE)Assumption University, 500 Salisbury Street, Worcester MA 01609