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Cullman Center Institute for Teachers, For Teachers: Setting Fiction in the Past: A Creative Writing Workshop


July 15, 2011

Program Locations:

Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars & Writers


Research offers abundant material for writers of historical fiction; one of the challenges lies in selecting precise details that help the story seems natural and unforced. We will examine passages by Saul Bellow, E.L. Doctorow, John Dos Passos, Paule Marshall, Claire Messud, Philip Roth, Colm Tóibín, Edith Wharton, and others, paying attention to the ways in which the writers accomplish this fictional sleight of hand. During the week, participants will complete short exercises before composing their own sketches set in historical New York.

Maile Chapman, a Cullman Center Fellow, is the author of the novel Your Presence is Requested at Suvanto, which was short-listed for the Guardian First Book Award in England.