In Advanced English: Literature of Place, students strive to advance the twin skills of reading and writing well, and to expand their understanding of American life and letters. They read many great texts of American literature and assess each one’s aesthetic brilliance and what the authors are telling us about American culture in its various manifestations through time. Students will develop their public speaking skills throughout the year. The study begins with The Heart is a Lonely Hunter as the summer reading text and then proceeds retrospectively in the following order: The Great Gatsby, My Antonia, Huckleberry Finn, poetry by Whitman and Dickinson, essays by Thoreau and Emerson, Melville’s Benito Cereno and Bartleby, Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, and finally they return to the present and read a variety of short fiction and poetry by contemporary authors. A concession is made to include The Tempest in this course in order to give students as much exposure to Shakespeare’s works as we can. A variety of writing assignments including analytical essays, personal response essays, and creative writing are supplemented by a reading journal in which each student records her reflections, questions and significant literary observations as she reads the texts. Students who take Advanced English will be prepared to take the AP Literature exam at the end of the year.