The Program Era

Front Cover
Harvard University Press, Apr 30, 2009 - Education - 466 pages
7 Reviews

In The Program Era, Mark McGurl offers a fundamental reinterpretation of postwar American fiction, asserting that it can be properly understood only in relation to the rise of mass higher education and the creative writing program. McGurl asks both how the patronage of the university has reorganized American literature and‚e"even more important‚e"how the increasing intimacy of writing and schooling can be brought to bear on a reading of this literature.

McGurl argues that far from occasioning a decline in the quality or interest of American writing, the rise of the creative writing program has instead generated a complex and evolving constellation of aesthetic problems that have been explored with energy and at times brilliance by authors ranging from Flannery O‚e(tm)Connor to Vladimir Nabokov, Philip Roth, Raymond Carver, Joyce Carol Oates, and Toni Morrison.

Through transformative readings of these and many other writers, The Program Era becomes a meditation on systematic creativity‚e"an idea that until recently would have seemed a contradiction in terms, but which in our time has become central to cultural production both within and beyond the university.

An engaging and stylishly written examination of an era we thought we knew, The Program Era will be at the center of debates about postwar literature and culture for years to come.

  

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Review: The Program Era: Postwar Fiction and the Rise of Creative Writing

User Review  - Geoff Wyss - Goodreads

I wanted this one to be better. When McGurl is actually performing readings of novels and stories, he's good. (He 'reads' some of the major 20th Century American writers, and thus their work, as ... Read full review

Review: The Program Era: Postwar Fiction and the Rise of Creative Writing

User Review  - Zach - Goodreads

Stuff on Cuckoo's Nest and Ken Kesey is great. A bit too "scholarly" for my taste. But well done. Took me almost five years to read the whole thing. Not a criticism. Just the truth. Read full review

Contents

Halls of Mirror
1
Write What You KnowShow Dont Tell 18901960
75
Find Your Voice 19601975
181
Creative Writing at Large 19752008
271
Systematic Excellence
399
Notes
411
Index
456
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Mark McGurl is Associate Professor of English at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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