Laura van den Berg
Enrollment limit: 8 students
$100 new; $90 returning

May we recommend Novel I or Novel II?

In fiction, time creates the borders of our worlds; as a result, our temporal choices impact everything else on the page. As such, time is not purely a technical concern but a philosophical one as well. Through a close reading of Edward P. Jones’s story “The Night Rhonda Ferguson Was Killed” and other texts, this class will explore the relationship between time and narrative possibility, with an eye toward developing new strategies and vocabulary for handling questions around time in our work. The seminar will include craft discussion, writing exercises, and Q & A.

This seminar is open to students of all levels. It will be held in Los Feliz where wine, sparkling water, and light snacks will be served. If you'd like to join a waitlist for The Clock, please email us


Los Feliz
One Thursday
August 30, 2018
7:00 to 10:00 pm

Laura van den Berg is the author of the novels The Third Hotel (FSG, August 2018) and Find Me, which was selected as a best book of 2015 by Time Out New York and NPR. She is also the author of two story collections What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us and The Isle of Youth, both finalists for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. Her honors include the Bard Fiction Prize, the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, an O. Henry Award, and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Civitella Ranieri Foundation; her fiction has been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories. Laura is a Briggs-Copeland Lecturer in Fiction at Harvard University and also teaches in the Low-Residency MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. She lives in Cambridge with her husband and dog.


"Laced through with sharp insights―not just on marriage and grief, but also on the pull of travel and the dynamics of horror movies―the layers of [The Third Hotel] fit together so seamlessly they're almost Escher-esque. The line between the real and the imagined is forever blurry, and the result of all that ambiguity is both moving and unsettling. Gorgeously haunting and wholly original; a novel that rewards patience." ―Kirkus

“In this gorgeous, frighteningly smart novel, a woman deranged by grief becomes an imposter in her own life. As inventive and inexorable as a dream, The Third Hotel is a devastating excavation of the unconscionable demands we place on those we love, and a profound portrait of the uncanny composite creature that is a marriage. Laura van den Berg is one of our best writers, an absolute marvel.” ―Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You

The Isle of Youth, is a smart, fun, noir-y treasure map of where families hide their secrets and lost souls hide themselves. Van den Berg somehow packs a duffel bag of plot into carry-on-size stories. She also has the right kind of range: from brutal to moving to funny, South America to Paris to Antarctica, really great to freaking outstanding.” ―Kathryn Schulz, New York Magazine

“The stories in Laura van den Berg's dreamy The Isle of Youth are absolutely captivating.” ―Vanity Fair