Tom Grimes

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The Workshop: Seven Decades of the Iowa Writers' Workshop

This extraordinary volume traces the Iowa Writers' Workshop's decade-by-decade evolution from the 1930s through the present. Via an introductory essay by editor Tom Grimes on the nature of genius and whether creative writing can be taught, and original introductions to the forty-three stories, many by the writers themselves, we get a sense of the importance of "The Workshop," as it became known, to the evolution of American writing itself. The Workshop is the definitive book on not only the Iowa Writers' Workshop, but the writing life in twentieth-century America.

"For all its impact on twentieth-century American Literature, the Iowa Workshop must be acknowledged not only for the great writers connected with it but for the writers not connected with it," notes Grimes, a novelist and Iowa alum. Such disclaimers aside, this hefty volume, culled from the work of students and faculty, amply confirms the program's preeminent place in American writing...Grimes does an admirable job in compiling a diverse cast and a wide range of work." -- Publisher's Weekly

"[T]he Iowa Writers' Workshop isn't just any creative writing program. It's the granddanddy of them all, and still the most prestigious...the stories in Mr. Grimes' collection are splendid." -- Alexander Thoreau, Wall Street Journal

Selected Works

"One of the truest accounts of a writer's life -- of two writers' lives -- I've yet seen. A poignant and beautiful book." T.C. Boyle
"Tom Grimes's novel is the funny, wistful story of a baseball player's ascent to the big leagues -- where immortality is but one of the many 'sweet illusions of the game.'"
--The New York Times Book Review
" is a work of golden wit and narrative drive."
--Barry Hannah
"Grimes makes a quantum leap into DeLillo land...a work of visionary power." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred