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May 24, 2010 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Master writers to hold Master classes

Literature lovers have a rare chance to hear from two master American writers―one the “godfather” of creative non-fiction, the other, an acclaimed author with a penchant for dark subject matter.

Victoria University’s International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML) is hosting US writers David Vann and Lee Gutkind for master classes in its creative writing course.

The pair is also giving free public talks at City Gallery Wellington on 26 May and 3 June respectively.

IIML Lecturer Chris Price says both writers are expert practitioners of creative non-fiction―dramatic, true stories that use scene, dialogue and other techniques usually employed by fiction writers―and their visit is a treat for fans of the genre.

“The readership for creative non-fiction has challenged and even overtaken that for fiction in recent years, and these writers are expert in negotiating the blurred and sometimes controversial territory between the two genres.”

Tales from the dark side of life―David Vann

US writer David Vann is best known for Legend of a Suicide, a remarkable book of stories set around his father’s suicide. It has been named in numerous Best Books of the Year lists in the UK, US and Australia, won a host of awards and been praised as “an American Classic” (The Sunday Times).

Vann has also written two other memoirs connected with his disastrous adventures as a sailor.

More recently, his account of the Northern University of Illinois shooter, Steven Kazmierczak, who killed five students, won the 2009 AWP Non-Fiction Prize. His next novel, Caribou Island, will be published next year.

He is an Assistant Professor of English at University of San Francisco where he teaches creative non-fiction and fiction.

What: Legend of a Suicide: David Vann’s autobiographical fiction

When: 6-7pm, Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Where: City Gallery Wellington (access to this event is via the Gallery’s Harris Street entrance)

The Godfather of creative non-fiction―Lee Gutkind

Lee Gutkind is widely known as the ‘godfather of creative non-fiction’. He has produced works ranging from memoir to books dealing with aspects of history, politics, sport, the arts and sciences and more.

He is the founding editor of Creative Nonfiction magazine and prize-winning author or editor of more than a dozen books, the most recent of which is Almost Human: Making Robots Think. His forthcoming book is a memoir, Truckin’ with Sam, co-written with his son.

Gutkind will appear in conversation with the IIML’s Creative Non-fiction workshop leader Harry Ricketts at City Gallery Wellington on 3 June.

What: In Fact: Lee Gutkind and the rise of Creative Nonfiction

When: 6-7pm, Thursday, 3 June 2010

Where: City Gallery Wellington

The City Gallery events are free and open to the public. Early arrival is recommended to secure a place.

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