Capote Award to be given at Oct. 6 UI event

Mark McGurl, whose The Program Era was the 2011 Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism in Memory of Newton Arvin, will accept the $30,000 award—the world’s richest annual award in literary criticism—at a free public event at 4 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 6, in the Senate Chamber of Old Capitol on the University of Iowa campus.

McGurl will present a talk on a literary topic of his choosing, and a public reception will follow.

The Capote Award is administered for the Capote Estate by the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and the workshop also awards Truman Capote Scholarships to UI creative writing students.

In The Program Era: Postwar Fiction and the Rise of Creative Writing, published by the Harvard University Press, McGurl argues that “the rise of the creative writing program stands as the most important event in postwar American literary history.” The book was chosen by an international panel of prominent critics and writers, each of whom nominated two books. After reading all the nominated books, each critic ranked the nominees.

Read more about the book and the award at McGurl is now a faculty member at Stanford University.

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