Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Article about Iowa and Sam Chang

The Des Moines Register has an article about the Iowa Writers Workshop, and particularly about Sam Chang.

I know about it because I'm quoted in it. I'm sure there are a lot of helpful MFA-related articles out there that I don't know about. If you find one, please forward it on to my email. I'll post a link on the board if it's appropriate. Thanks.

tom.kealey at gmail.com

7 comments:

Old Scribe said...

I don't think she's qualified to head up one of best MFA programs in the U.S. Her degrees are in Asian Studies and Public Administration, right? And she's only published two books--two books I've never heard of.

I don't know about you, but I want to see people like Joyce Carol Oates, Tobias Wolff, and Richard Bausch running top-notch MFA programs. This is a real surprise.

Anonymous said...

To clarify the silly insinuation in the last posting, as if a degree from Yale in Asian Studies, and a degree from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard were something to sneer at: Sam Chang has an MFA from Iowa, a Stegner Fellowship, a fellowship from Harvard and a fellowship from Princeton. All of this and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Not bad, right? Haven't heard of her books? Go out and read them.

Charley Raunce said...

Silly, indeed. With all due respect, old scribe, if you've never heard of Sam Chang's books, you need to start paying a little more attention to contemporary literature.

Dan said...

In Old Scribe's defense, I've never heard of Sam Chang's books either. It'd be interesting to see a big name there. But at the same time, a big name isn't necessarily the best person. A great writer may not be a good administrator. I can't say I know enough about Iowa to comment either which way. Shoot, I just hope I get in when I apply this winter. ;)

MasterScribe said...

This is Old Scribe. I've been promoted (hehe).

Anyway, looking over Chang's credentials, she definitely has the education and the awards, but I think EXPERIENCE is what's needed for a position like hers, especially at Iowa. You're lucky to get a CW teaching position with only two books under your belt--but heading up Iowa's program? I could understand if she was brought on at that level at another institution, but Iowa seems a great leap for someone with little or no experience. And if she holds 3 degrees at her age, she hasn't been out of school too long.

Also, I checked one of her books out at the local library, "Hunger." We'll see if it has any shine to it...

dacia said...

Lan Samantha Chang , born 1965, is an American writer of novels and short stories. Her works include Hunger, a novella plus four short stories, and Inheritance, a novel.Chang received an M.F.A. (Master of Fine Arts) in Creative Writing from the University of Iowa, an M.P.A. (Master of Public Administration) from Harvard University, and a B.A. in East Asian Studies from Yale University. At Yale, she served as managing editor of the Yale Daily News, and at Harvard, she received a fellowship from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The five stories in Hunger (1998) deal mainly with the position of Chinese in America, though the last of them is set in pre-Communist Shanghai. Inheritance (2004) is the story of a wealthy but declining family in Republican China, beginning in 1925 and extending through the period of the Japanese invasion and the post-war flight to Taiwan and then the USA.
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Dacia


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