History of Literature #74 – Great First Chapters (with Vu Tran)


It’s a new year! A time for fresh beginnings! And on the History of Literature Podcast, it’s a time to celebrate beginnings. Vu Tran, author of the novel Dragonfish and a professor of creative writing at the University of Chicago, joins us to discuss ten great first chapters – how they work, how they affect the reader, and how they fulfill their author’s intentions.


Works Discussed:

The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Age of Innocence, by Edith Wharton

Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison

The Secret History, by Donna Tartt

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Diaz

One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

The Virgin Suicides, by Jeffrey Eugenides

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, by Haruki Murakami

Beloved, by Toni Morrison

Disgrace, by J.M. Coetzee

Show Notes: 

Contact the host at jackewilsonauthor@gmail.com or by leaving a voicemail at 1-361-4WILSON (1-361-494-5766).

You can find more literary discussion at jackewilson.com and more episodes of the series at historyofliterature.com.

Check out our Facebook page at facebook.com/historyofliterature.

On Twitter, you can follow Jacke Wilson at his handle @WriterJacke. You can also follow Mike and the Literature Supporters Club (and receive daily book recommendations) by looking for @literature SC.

Music Credits:

Handel – Entrance to the Queen of Sheba” by Advent Chamber Orchestra (From the Free Music Archive / CC by SA).


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