In this course we will read and explore a cross-section of the most exciting and moving new fiction, poetry and other writing from Britain and Ireland today. There will be four novels: Hanif Kureshi's The Buddha of Suburbia, Emma Donoghue's Wonder, Colm Tobin's Brooklyn, and Ian McEwan's Saturday. There will also be new poetry from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, by poets such as Eavan Boland, Sinead Morrisey and Patience Agbabi. We will also consider new forms of cross-over writing, especaily the use of literature in popular culture and in contemporary art. Topics will include: hyperrealism, postmodernsim, historical fiction, fiction and emigration, trauma writing, and writing and gender, and the value of pop culture. How do you write about global lives caught up in the cycle of money, work and consumption? How do non-mainstream voices tell their stories? What is the future of literature in the modern mediascape? Why read--and write--now? In this class, you will be invited to consider how you would tell your own story, while you check out how others from a range of background have brilliantly told theirs.