The new veteran writers

Thursday, May 20, 2010

World War II produced some of the titans (male at least) of American literature, like Bellow, Mailer, and Vonnegut, and writers like Tobias Wolff are products of their service in Vietnam. At the Virginia Quarterly Review, Michael David Lukas asks what effect the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq will have on American literature, and ponders how the proliferation of MFA programs will impact the writing of returning veterans:

Whenever this generation of veterans begins writing, many will have to contend with something Hemingway and Heller never did: the MFA workshop. Although graduate creative writing programs have been around since the GI Bill, this generation of veterans will be the first to filter through the MFA workshop en masse.