Nathan Englander on the Iowa Writers' Workshop

Nathan Englander

In this London Times profile of fiction writer Nathan Englander, Englander talks about his time at the Iowa Writers' Workshop and his work with faculty member Marilynne Robinson.

From the article: "Realizing photography wasn’t for him, [Englander] did something so sane, so enviable, so right, I can barely bring myself to report it. He applied to the University of Iowa. This is what every aspiring young writer in the world should do, for one simple reason. At the University of Iowa is the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and at the Iowa Writers' Workshop is Marilynne Robinson... not only one of the greatest writers alive, but one of the greatest teachers of writing." 'Marilynne Robinson is a goddess to me,' Englander says. 'She changed my life. I sat at her feet for two years. I wanted to talk to her endlessly. She taught me how to think, how to see.' What he learnt was not what to write – he does not write anything like Robinson – but why and how to write. Robinson’s work shines with her sense of the high moral calling of fiction, of the supreme virtue of getting it right, of telling the truth. Her utter devotion to her art... struck a chord deep inside Englander."

Read the profile: "A Writer Who Can't Rest in Peace"

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