Chandler Klang Smith

BA, Bennington College. MFA, Columbia University. Smith’s new novel The Sky Is Yours (Hogarth/Crown, 2018), was listed as a best book of 2018 by The Wall Street Journal, New York Public Library, Locus, LitHub, Mental Floss, and NPR, which described it as "a wickedly satirical synthesis that underlines just how fractured our own realities can be during periods of fear, unrest, inequality and instability." Chandler has an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University. She has served twice as a juror for the Shirley Jackson Awards, worked in book publishing and as a ghostwriter, and taught creative writing at institutions including SUNY Purchase, NYU School of Professional Studies, and the MFA program at St. Francis College. She lives in New York City. SLC, 2018–

Graduate Courses

MFA Writing 2020-2021

Lost in the Maze: Unseen Forces, Conspiracies and Fate in Speculative Fiction

Craft—Fall

“World-building” in speculative fiction often brings to mind the maps on the endpapers of fantasy novels, showing the terrain that characters will traverse on their journeys. But in many great novels and stories, characters start out embedded in the heart of a labyrinth... and never find their way out. In this course, we'll look at fictive universes that trap and delude their inhabitants, sending them on twisting routes to dead ends or keeping them in ignorance of the powers-that-be who are secretly determining the shape of their lives. We'll closely read stories and novel excerpts from authors including Manuel Gonzales, Kelly Link, Victor LaValle, Jonathan Lethem, Kazuo Ishiguro, Samantha Hunt, Mark Z. Danielewski, and others, in order to reverse-engineer the all-encompassing systems they present in their fiction. Ultimately, we'll ponder how writers can use systems to convey meaning, and how characters can find meaning within them.

Faculty

Previous Courses

Speculative Fiction Craft: Lost in the Maze: Unseen Forces, Conspiracies, and Fate

Craft—Fall

Worldbuildingin speculative fiction often brings to mind the maps on the endpapers of fantasy novels, showing the terrain that characters will traverse on their journeys. But in many great novels and stories, characters start out embedded in the heart of a labyrinthand never find their way out. In this course, we’ll look at fictive universes that trap and delude their inhabitants, sending them on twisting routes to dead ends or keeping them in ignorance of the powers-that-be who are secretly determining the shape of their lives. We’ll closely read stories and novel excerpts from authorsincluding Manuel Gonzales, Kelly Link, Victor LaValle, Jonathan Lethem, Kazuo Ishiguro, Samantha Hunt, Mark Z. Danielewski, Thomas Pynchon, and othersin order to reverse-engineer the all-encompassing systems they present in their fiction. Ultimately, we’ll ponder how writers can use systems to convey meaning and how characters can find meaning within those systems.

Faculty