We Wanted to Be WritersPosted: August 5, 2019
We Wanted to Be Writers: Life, Love, and Literature at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop
Eric Olsen and Glenn Schaeffer
Skyhorse (August 16, 2011), 345 pages
Kindle edition $11.99, paperback $11.58
Purchased during an Early Bird Books sale for $1.99
When I came across this book I wanted to read it for two reasons. The first was my love of writing. The second was that this book consists of interviews with participants in the Iowa Writer’s Workshop in the mid-1970’s. If you read this blog you know that I am a seventies kind of guy.
The authors interview a handful of participants in the program. They begin with the participants’ earliest love of writing, go on to the application process, spend a lot of time discussing their participation in the program, and talk about life after Iowa. Many stayed in writing and teaching; others moved on to other fields.
We hear from writers with whom you may be familiar: John Irving, T.C. Boyle, Sandra Cisneros, Joe Haldeman, and others. Some participated in the program and then came back to tech. All have a lot to offer with respect to their perspective on Iowa.
This was interesting stuff, but at over 300 pages it was a little too much interesting stuff. There was some repetition, and the book could have stood some trimming. Still, it was a lot of fun to read.