This is fact not fiction
Tom Perrotta, MFA graduate, 1987
Novels and screenplays of high school, college and the emotional depths of suburbia garnered fame for Tom Perrotta, an understudy of Tobias Wolff. His novel ‘Little Children’ was named among the ‘Best Books of 2004′ by The New York Times Book Review, Newsweek and People magazine for its realistic characters and Perrotta’s ability to delve into the physiological aspects of suburbia. As of 2006, Perrotta had sold his screenplay ‘Barry and Stan Go Wild’ about a dermatologist on spring break to New Line Cinema, and he is currently working on a film adaptation of his latest novel, ‘The Abstinence Teacher.’
Noted works:‘The Wishbones’ (1997)’Election’ (1998)’Little Children’ (2004)’The Abstinence Teacher’ (2007)
Alice Sebold, Class of 1984
Graphic and dark, Alice Sebold has written novels that revolve around her own experiences with violence and terror. Beaten and raped by an SU co-ed in a nearby park as a freshman, Sebold wrote of her dubious ‘luck’ after being told by a police officer that another female was raped and killed at the same place. She reveals the emotional boundaries of victims, through her own experience and approach to rape as a social issue. By stressing the social influence of violence, Sebold’s themes carry personal memories to her audience.
Noted works: ‘Lucky’ (1999) ‘The Lovely Bones’ (2002) ‘The Almost Moon’ (2007)
Raymond Carver, professor, 1980-1983
Raymond Carver lived by the adage, ‘Brevity is the soul of wit.’ Dedicated to short stories and poetry, Carver was instrumental in revitalizing the genres in the late ’80s. Most of his work was focused on the blue-collar lifestyle and alcohol issues, reflective of his own life. Carver wrote for Esquire magazine, where his editors shaped his prose to be succinct and tight.
Noted works: ‘Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?’ (1976)’Where I’m Calling From’ (1988)’Call If You Need Me’ (2000)
Tobias Wolff, professor, 1980-1997
Tobias Wolff is best known for his work in the memoir and short story genres. His first short story collection, ‘In the Garden of the North American Martyrs,’ was extremely popular and his memoir ‘This Boy’s Life’ chronicled his troubled adolescence. Wolff served on the Syracuse creative writing faculty with Raymond Carver during his tenure at Syracuse University. Writers who worked with Wolff while at Syracuse include Jay McInerney, George Saunders and Alice Sebold. Currently, he is an English professor at Stanford University.
Noted Works: ‘In the Garden of the North American Martyrs’ (1981)’In Pharaoh’s Army’ (1994)’Old School’ (2003)
George Saunders, professor of English, 1997-present
George Saunders credits his originality in writing fiction as being ‘like if you put a welder to designing dresses.’ Known for his works of short stories, fables, novellas and essays of non-fiction, Saunders’ literature entails absurd aspects of consumerism and corporate culture. Awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship or ‘genius grant’ in 2006, Saunders’ writings are compared to Kurt Vonnegut’s for their satirical tones and philosophical questions of mortality.
Noted works:‘CivilWarLand in Bad Decline’ (1996)’The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil’ (2005)’The Braindead Megaphone’ (2007)
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