How to Read a Novel

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What makes a great novel? How is a novel woven together? How can we best appreciate works of fiction? Answer these questions and more with this course from The University of Edinburgh and the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

Using examples from a range of texts including the four novels shortlisted for the 2021 James Tait Black fiction prize, you’ll discover four of the main building blocks of modern fiction on the course:

  • Week 1 (Plot): Alligator & Other Stories by Dima Alzayat
  • Week 2 (Characterisation): The First Woman by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi
  • Week 3 ( Dialogue): A Children’s Bible by Lydia Millet
  • Week 4 (Setting): Lote by Shola von Reinhold

This course is for anyone who enjoys reading.

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This course is hosted on an external learning platform.

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Learner reviews
A must for anyone who loves reading and writing. I've learnt so much from the development of the plot, to character, atmosphere and differing narratives.
Summary
  • Programme type
    Course: study a subject through videos, articles, discussions and quizzes
  • Cost and certification
    Free, with option to upgrade for a certificate
  • Duration
    4 weeks
  • Weekly effort
    2-3 hours
  • Difficulty level
    Introductory
  • Course platform
    FutureLearn
    Platform image
    FutureLearn logo