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May 16, 2016 07:18 AM EDT

University Of Alabama Examines The Works Of Terry Pratchett Just Before The Summer Semester Starts!

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University of Alabama interim course will encompass work of fantasy author Terry Pratchett, a writer who is still unknown to many.

Andrea Barton, an instructor in the University of Alabama English department is teaching an interim course of Terry Pratchett's work, dubbed "Special Topics in Literature: Discworld."

Pratchett, an English author of fantasy novels, specifically comical works, is renowned for his Discworld series of 41 novels.
Interim is a three-week period amid the spring and summer semesters. During this period, educators conduct courses that either revolve around personal interest, or those that work in a condensed setting. Interim courses encompass an array of subjects including everything from archaeological digs to glass-blowing to the upsurging interest with zombies.

With topics such as history, arts of knitting, history, event planning with a mock wedding for the final as well as how television's "Mad Men" de-glamorize representation of 1960's American culture, this year won't be any different at the University Of Alabama, according to reports on TuscaloosaNews.

Barton did not rule out the possibility of most Americans not recognizing Terry Pratchett, an author who earned appreciation for his Discworld series of 41 novels and who sold more than a staggering 85 million copies of his books across 37 languages in his career that spanned five decades. He was appointed as an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire).

In 2001, Pratchett won the annual Carnegie Medal for his first Discworld book for children dubbed, "The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents" and in 2010, he received the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement.

Barton admitted it's strange that not many Americans actually recognize Pratchett, despite his work being so accessible to readers. He presented a very smart blue-collar personality. Barton also pointed out that "It's interesting that the higher you go in academia, the more likely they are to recognize his work."

Pratchett undermined fantasy concepts to express human absurdity as well as eccentricity about gender, war, technology, religion, xenophobia, racism and more. He created a world of characters readers would want to know and people who seemed genuine, Barton added.

Pratchett died on March 12 last year following a diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer's. He was 66.

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