Review by Choice Review
Released in the "New American Canon" series, this collection responds to, and fills gaps in, claims Mark McGurl made in The Program Era: Postwar Fiction and the Rise of Creative Writing (CH, Nov'09, 47-1299). Comprising 14 chapters arranged in three parts--"Antecedents," "Revisions," and "Prospects"--the volume traces the rise, establishment, and possible future of graduate creative writing programs. The collection ends with a succinct, pointed response from McGurl himself. An accomplished scholar with a number of books on modern and contemporary American literature to his credit, Glass here formally resumes the complicated conversation on the contributions (or lack thereof) of MFA and other graduate-level creative writing programs to American literature. Some essays clarify relationships between the most famous workshops, celebrity teachers and students, the academy, modernism, and metafiction; others examine the commodification of creative writing instruction and its benefits to graduates according to race and gender as program numbers have increased, in stark contrast to the shrinking number of full-time teaching positions currently available. A must read in the discipline. Summing Up: Essential. Graduate students, researchers, faculty, professionals. --Catherine Erin O'Neill Armendarez, New Mexico State University at Alamogordo
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.