What does it mean to talk like an animal? Why and how do writers attempt such tricks? This course has as its focus a particular type of fiction, that of the speaking animal. We will examine the long-term development of this genre in novels, novellas, television and the occasional lyric, paying particular attention to the tension between the fantastic premise of the animal autobiography and a set of realistic concerns about the natural world. We will also take into account man's changing relationship with animals, a menagerie of privileged bookish beasts, and the repertory of stylistic strategies on which these writers draw.