Kathleen Hill

BA, Manhattanville College. MA, Columbia University. PhD, University of Wisconsin. Hill's novel, Still Waters in Niger, was nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and named a notable book of the year by The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Chicago Tribune; the French translation, Eaux Tranquilles, was shortlisted for the Prix Femina Etranger. Who Occupies This House, a second novel, was named an editors’ choice at The New York Times. Her work has appeared in Best American Short Stories 2000, Best Spiritual Writing 2013, Pushcart Prize XXV, and The Pushcart Book of Short Stories. Her recent memoir, She Read to us in the Late Afternoons, received the Silver Nautilus Award. SLC, 1991-1994, 1997–

Previous Courses

MFA Writing

Fiction Craft: In Time and Out of It


In this course, we’ll be exploring the ways in which the time line that governs most fiction can open into spaces of timelessness. Whether achieved by means of metaphor or a shift in perspective, through the use of history or myth, a move outside the temporal frame of a work of fiction often yields an expansion of the inner story...opens it to eternity. We’ll be reading fiction by Munro, Baldwin, Trevor, Elizabeth Bishop, Joyce, Kafka, Chekhov, Carver, Edward P. Jones, Proust, Woolf, Duras, and Teju Cole. A couple of stories or a section of a novel will be assigned each week, as well as a craft exercise that relates to the readings. These exercises, for the most part, will be written out of class; I’d be glad to look at them but don’t require they be handed in. At the end of each class, we’ll talk about general questions of craft: beginnings and endings, audience, self-censorship, voice, perseverance, etc. We’ll also make space in the final weeks of the semester for short presentations in which students explore the hidden avenues that led to their art.