Writers write—but what do they do for money? In a widely read essay entitled "MFA vs NYC," bestselling novelist Chad Harbach (The Art of Fielding) argued that the American literary scene has split into two cultures: New York publishing versus university MFA programs. This book brings together established writers, MFA professors and students, and New York editors, publicists, and agents to talk about these overlapping worlds, and the ways writers make (or fail to make) a living within them. Should you seek an advanced degree, or will workshops smother your style? Do you need to move to New York, or will the high cost of living undo you? What's worse—having a day job or not having health insurance? How do agents decide what to represent? Will Big Publishing survive? How has the rise of MFA programs affected American fiction? The expert contributors, including George Saunders, Elif Batuman, and Fredric Jameson, consider all these questions and more, with humor and rigor. MFA vs NYC is a must-read for aspiring writers, and for anyone interested in the present and future of American letters.
The Culture of Practice and the Practice of Culture in MFA Education
Author: Gary Alan Fine
Pubpsher: University of Chicago Press
In Talking Art, acclaimed ethnographer Gary Alan Fine gives us an eye-opening look at the contemporary university-based master’s-level art program. Through an in-depth analysis of the practice of the critique and other aspects of the curriculum, Fine reveals how MFA programs have shifted the goal of creating art away from beauty and toward theory. Contemporary visual art, Fine argues, is no longer a calling or a passion—it’s a discipline, with an academic culture that requires its practitioners to be verbally skilled in the presentation of their intentions. Talking Art offers a remarkable and disconcerting view into the crucial role that universities play in creating that culture.
A collection of essays from today’s most acclaimed authors—from Cheryl Strayed to Roxane Gay to Jennifer Weiner, Alexander Chee, Nick Hornby, and Jonathan Franzen—on the realities of making a living in the writing world. In the literary world, the debate around writing and commerce often begs us to take sides: either writers should be paid for everything they do or writers should just pay their dues and count themselves lucky to be published. You should never quit your day job, but your ultimate goal should be to quit your day job. It’s an endless, confusing, and often controversial conversation that, despite our bare-it-all culture, still remains taboo. In Scratch, Manjula Martin has gathered interviews and essays from established and rising authors to confront the age-old question: how do creative people make money? As contributors including Jonathan Franzen, Cheryl Strayed, Roxane Gay, Nick Hornby, Susan Orlean, Alexander Chee, Daniel Jose Older, Jennifer Weiner, and Yiyun Li candidly and emotionally discuss money, MFA programs, teaching fellowships, finally getting published, and what success really means to them, Scratch honestly addresses the tensions between writing and money, work and life, literature and commerce. The result is an entertaining and inspiring book that helps readers and writers understand what it’s really like to make art in a world that runs on money—and why it matters. Essential reading for aspiring and experienced writers, and for anyone interested in the future of literature, Scratch is the perfect bookshelf companion to On Writing, Never Can Say Goodbye, and MFA vs. NYC.
Release on 2016-04-12 | by Wayne Miller,Kevin Prufer,Travis Kurowski
Author: Wayne Miller,Kevin Prufer,Travis Kurowski
Pubpsher: Milkweed Editions
Category: Literary Collections
Gutenberg’s invention of movable type in the fifteenth century introduced an era of mass communication that permanently altered the structure of society. While publishing has been buffeted by persistent upheaval and transformation ever since, the current combination of technological developments, market pressures, and changing reading habits has led to an unprecedented paradigm shift in the world of books. Bringing together a wide range of perspectives — industry veterans and provocateurs, writers, editors, and digital mavericks — this invaluable collection reflects on the current situation of literary publishing, and provides a road map for the shifting geography of its future: How do editors and publishers adapt to this rapidly changing world? How are vibrant public communities in the Digital Age created and engaged? How can an industry traditionally dominated by white men become more diverse and inclusive? Mindful of the stakes of the ongoing transformation, Literary Publishing in the 21st Century goes beyond the usual discussion of 'print vs. digital' to uncover the complex, contradictory, and increasingly vibrant personalities that will define the future of the book.
Caren Irr's survey of more than 125 novels outlines the dramatic resurgence of the American political novel in the twenty-first century. She explores the writings of Chris Abani, Susan Choi, Edwidge Danticat, Junot Díaz, Dave Eggers, Jeffrey Eugenides, Aleksandar Hemon, Hari Kunzru, Dinaw Mengestu, Norman Rush, Gary Shteyngart, and others as they rethink stories of migration, the Peace Corps, nationalism and neoliberalism, revolution, and the expatriate experience. Taken together, these innovations define a new literary form: the geopolitical novel. More cosmopolitan and socially critical than domestic realism, the geopolitical novel provides new ways of understanding crucial political concepts to meet the needs of a new century.
Stegner, Engle, and American Creative Writing During the Cold War
Author: Eric Bennett
Pubpsher: University of Iowa Press
Category: Literary Criticism
During and just after World War II, an influential group of American writers and intellectuals projected a vision for literature that would save the free world. Novels, stories, plays, and poems, they believed, could inoculate weak minds against simplistic totalitarian ideologies, heal the spiritual wounds of global catastrophe, and just maybe prevent the like from happening again. As the Cold War began, high-minded and well-intentioned scholars, critics, and writers from across the political spectrum argued that human values remained crucial to civilization and that such values stood in dire need of formulation and affirmation. Creative writing emerged as a graduate discipline in the United States amid this astonishing swirl of grand conceptions. Workshops of Empire explores this history via the careers of Paul Engle at the University of Iowa and Wallace Stegner at Stanford. In the story of these founding fathers of the discipline, Eric Bennett discovers the cultural, political, literary, intellectual, and institutional underpinnings of creative writing programs within the university Book jacket.
Awaiting a TV talk show appearance, John Townley is quaking with dread. He has published a best-selling memoir about the Iraq War, a page-turner climaxing in atrocity. In a green room beyond the soundstage, he braces himself to confront the charismatic soldier at the violent heart of it. But John has never actually seen the man before—nor served in Iraq, nor the military. Even so, and despite the deception, he knows his fabricated memoir contains stunning truths. By turns comic, suspenseful, bitingly satirical, and emotionally potent, A Big Enough Liepits personal mistruths against national ones of life-and-death consequence. Tracking a writer from the wilds of Florida to New York cubicles to Midwestern workshops to the mindscapes of Baghdad—and from love to heartbreak to solitary celebrity—Bennett's novel probes our endlessly frustrated desire to grab hold of something (or somebody) true.
Top 10 First Novels of 2016--Booklist 2016 Great Group Reads Selection Contemplating suicide after nearly a decade at war, Levi sits down to write a note to his best friend Nick, explaining why things have to come to this inevitable end. Years earlier, Levi--a sergeant in the army--made a tragic choice that led his team into ambush, leaving three soldiers dead and two badly injured. During the attack, Levi risked death to save a badly burned and disfigured Nick. His actions won him the Silver Star for gallantry, but nothing could alleviate the guilt he carried after that fateful day. He may have saved Nick in Iraq, but when Levi returns home and spirals out of control, it is Nick's turn to play the savior, urging Levi to write. Levi begins to type as a way of bidding farewell, but what remains when he is finished is not a suicide note. It's a love song, a novel in which the beginning is the story's end, the story's end is the real beginning of Levi's life, and the future is as mutable as words on a page.