Masters of Modern Fiction
with Nicholas Delbanco
: It is an honor and a privilege to have Nicholas Delbanco return for the third time to conduct a workshop at the Kauai Writers Conference.
John Updike said Delbanco “wrestles with the abundance of his gifts as a novelist the way other men wrestle with their deficiencies.” He is a writer that other writers, including many of the most celebrated, look up to and have sought out for advice. He’s served as both chairman of the fiction panel of the National Book Awards and as a judge for, among other contests, the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award in Fiction..
Delbanco is the author of twenty-nine books, both fiction and nonfiction. He was the founding director of the Bennington Writing Workshops and served for many years as head of the esteemed creative writing program at University of Michigan. There he was director of the Hopwood Awards Program, the oldest and best known series of writing prizes in the academy.
In The Art of Fiction, John Gardner paraphrases Delbanco, who “remarked that by the age of four one has experienced nearly everything one needs as a writer of fiction: love, pain, loss, boredom, rage, guilt, fear of death.” Yet Delbanco’s recent book, Lastingness, the Art of Old Age, reflects on the qualities that transcend age in the lives of authors. His most recent work of non-fiction, “Curiouser and Curiouser: Essays” continues that exploration, both in personal and in professional terms.
Delbanco has a unique voice. His workshop will focus on helping writers find and refine their own individual voices. He says: “My notion of a failed writing workshop is when everybody comes out replicating the teacher and imitating as closely as possible the great original at the head of the table.” Instead, in his storied career of helping authors, he has found the gift of identifying, honing, and perfecting the individual style of each one.
We can promise that those fortunate enough to find a spot in Delbanco’s workshop will find it a seminal event in their writing careers.