Writing… And then Writing Again: Marie Darrieussecq Explores the Art of Storytelling

Marie Darrieussecq
Wednesdays 9 AM - 11 AM
March 29, April 5, 12, and 17, 2023 (Note: Last class session is a Monday)
Watch the video to learn more about this course

Writing… And then Writing Again: Marie Darrieussecq Explores the Art of Storytelling

Spring 2023
In Session
9 AM - 11 AM
March 29, April 5, 12, and 17, 2023 (Note: Last class session is a Monday)


Main Campus



Attend In Person OR Online

Sometimes it is easy to start writing, but it is never easy to go on. When I was very young, I was a specialist in first chapters. Later in life, I often had in mind the beginning and the end of a novel, the head and tail, but the belly of it resisted me. Developing the story’s middle, all those character elements, events, twists and turns often seemed absurd or even annoying to me. In this course, I will share how to face this void at the center of every book and skirt around what we call in French la page blanche – the blank page. The course will focus on four of my novels: Pig Tales: A Novel of Lust and Transformation, All the Way, Being Here Is Everything: The Life of Paula Modersohn-Becker, and Crossed Lines. We will read these novels closely in English translation, explore the major themes together, and use each as a lens to consider the art of storytelling. I’ll give you my own tricks and methods to fight writer’s block, to elect the perfect first sentence, to build a character, and to know when and how to finish (plan or no plan?). I’ll tell you everything about my relations with editing and publishing and about this strange job: writing.

Special Schedule and Format

The Humanities Seminars Program is delighted to offer this course with award-winning French Author Marie Darrieussecq. This course will offer students the chance to learn the craft of writing and the art of storytelling directly from one of the best contemporary authors in the world today.

Please see below for several important notes about this unique course.

  • 1st and 2nd Class Session - Online Only: Marie Darrieussecq will teach the first two class sessions Wednesday, March 29 and Wednesday, April 5 online via Zoom from France. 
  • 3rd and 4th Class Session - In Person and Online:  Marie Darrieussecq will teach the last two class sessions on Wednesday, April 12 and Monday, April 17 from the Rubel Room at the University of Arizona Poetry Center to a hybrid audience of both in person and online students. Students will enroll in their preferred format (online only OR online and in person) during registration.
  • Online students may attend all classes via live video streaming and will be able to participate in all course Q&A sessions with the professor in real time. A high-speed internet connection and a device capable of running Zoom are required to connect. 
  • In-Person classes will be held in the Rubel Room at the University of Arizona's Poetry Center. Enrollment for in-person classes is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. All student enrolled to attend in person also have complete online access and may choose to attend one or all class sessions remotely if desired.
  • Class Recordings - All HSP classes regardless of format are recorded and available for every enrolled student to watch for the duration of the course and one month after the last class session. This option is offered to aid students who may be unable to attend the live class times but desire to enroll and participate asynchronously. We hope this option also aids students who are traveling or have an important appointment that conflicts with a class session to stay connected and engaged with the course material.

Registration Will Open Online:
Monday, NOVEMBER 21, 2022, at 8 AM (AZ Time)

Required Reading: 

Please Note: some of the assigned readings include sexually explicit content.

Meet Your Professor


Marie Darrieussecq was born in 1969 in the Basque Country, France. A student at the Ecole Normale Supérieure, she wrote a Ph.D. about autofiction and autobiography in 1997. She has published more than twenty books, novels, short stories, biography, theater, non-fiction, and translation. She was a psycho-analyst for a while before turning exclusively to writing. Since her debut bestselling novel Truismes in 1996 (American translation under the title Pig Tales, 1998), she has remained faithful to her French publisher POL. A laureate of the Prix Médicis and of the Prix des Prix (award of awards) in 2013 for her novel Il faut beaucoup aimer les hommes (Men), her work is translated in many languages.


Poetry Center
Dorothy Rubel Room
1508 E Helen
Tucson, AZ 85721
United States
Located on the SE corner of Helen Street and Vine Avenue, one block north of Speedway and three blocks west of Campbell Ave.

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