Master Class: Lessons from Leading Writers gathers more than two decades of wisdom from twenty-nine accomplished authors. It offers previously unpublished interviews along with freshly edited versions of ten interviews from Nancy Bunge's well-received previous collection, Finding the Words. The first section, Theory, incorporates interviews which document the golden age of writing programs in which authors with a strong sense of social and cultural responsibility taught as seriously as they wrote. These conversations delve into the writers' philosophies and teaching methods. The second section, Practice, presents interviews with authors who discuss how they've approached the writing of particular works. Altogether the interviews introduce authors as inspirational models and provide insightful techniques for other writers to try. One piece of advice recurs with striking consistency: to produce fresh, interesting work, aspiring writers must develop a passionate self-trust. This rule has an essential corollary: improving as a writer means constantly stretching oneself with new information and skills. Sure to interest writing and literature teachers as well as writers at every stage of development, Master Class is highly recommended for undergraduate and graduate writing courses.
Interviews with Marvin Bell, Ivan Doig, Sandra Gilbert, Allen Ginsberg, Donald Hall, Jim Harrison, Etheridge Knight, Margot Livesey, Larry McMurtry, James Alan McPherson, Clarence Major, Bobbie Ann Mason, Sue Miller, N. Scott Momaday, Kyoko Mori, Thylias Moss, W. S. Penn, Kit Reed, Alix Kates Shulman, William Stafford, Wallace Stegner, Ruth Stone, Scott Turow, Katherine Vaz, Diane Wakoski, Anne Waldman, Richard Wilbur, Richard Yates, and Helen Yglesias.