the writing life (cont.)

11/07/17 09:12

In her book Notes on a Foreign Country: An American Abroad in a Post-American World, Suzy Hansen chastises the Iowa Writers’ Workshop for pushing, according to the New York Review of Books, “American writing toward the mundane and away from international concerns.”

Yesterday I received an email from an editor regarding an essay I’d submitted about becoming a travel writer in travel writing’s heyday (the 1980s). She expressed her confidence that it would “find a great home (and appear in one of the annual anthologies),” but she rejected it because, as she explained, “Our essays are usually personal memoirs about families and relationships – usually with a big dose of pain and suffering.”

And this was a magazine not in New York, the dyspepsia capital of America, but below the Mason-Dixon Line. American writing is not only geographically but also emotionally parochial.

By Thomas Swick • Category: writing

No feedback yet