Archive - October 28, 2013

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Teach Me How To Write The Great American Novel! Or Just Give Me An A!

Teach Me How To Write The Great American Novel! Or Just Give Me An A!

Half the RPCVs I know are teaching creative writing at colleges and universities; the other half of my RPCV friends are taking writing classes. Now, what does that tell us? Can’t any RPCV get a real job after the Peace Corps or do they all want to be novelists or teach novelists? To help those looking for a school or career as a writer, there’s a new book out from Harvard University Press entitled The Program Era: Postwar Fiction and the Rise of Creative Writing by Mark McGurl. McGurl teaches at Stanford. His new book was reviewed at length by novelist Diane Johnson in The New York Review of Books, November 7, 2013 issue. It’s well worth the read, regardless of where you sit in the college classroom. McCurl’s book makes the point that the rise of American creative writing programs is a “peculiar and suggestive phenomenon,” though, as Diane . . .

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