How to read a novel

title screen

15 videos created for the ‘How to Read a Novel’ massive open online course (MOOC) are now available for anyone to use and re-use on a CC BY licence.

What makes a great novel? How is a novel woven together? How can we best appreciate works of fiction? Answer these questions and more with this course from The University of Edinburgh and the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

Using examples from a range of texts including the four novels shortlisted for the 2021 James Tait Black fiction prize, learners discover four of the main building blocks of modern fiction on the course:

  • Week 1 (Plot): Alligator & Other Stories by Dima Alzayat
  • Week 2 (Characterisation): The First Woman by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi
  • Week 3 ( Dialogue): A Children’s Bible by Lydia Millet
  • Week 4 (Setting): Lote by Shola von Reinhold

Click here for more information on the How to Read a Novel MOOC


Click here to view or download the ‘How to read a novel’ videos directly on Media Hopper Create


Header Image: Title screen from videos