Today’s GalleyCrush is Matthew Salesses’s Craft in the Real World, forthcoming from Catapult on January 19, 2021.
Perfect pitch: “A groundbreaking resource for fiction writers, teachers, and students, this manifesto and practical guide challenges current models of craft and the writing workshop by showing how they fail marginalized writers, and how cultural expectations inform storytelling.”
First lines: “This book is a challenge to accepted models of craft and workshop, to everything from a character-driven plot to the ‘cone of silence,’ or ‘gag rule,’ that in a creative writing workshop silences the manuscript’s author. The challenge is this: to take craft out of some imaginary vacuum (as if meaning in fiction is separate from meaning in life) and return it to its cultural and historical context.”
Big blurb: “This book is a gift to those writers who’ve felt the tilt of imbalanced power in a workshop, who’ve wondered whose rules they’re following when they write and why, who’ve struggled to tell their stories within a narrow and restrictive tradition. With empathy and keen insight, Matthew Salesses delivers an unflinching critique of the pedagogy of creative writing’s old guard—and models a way of studying and communicating craft that is self-aware, socially engaged, and thrillingly alive.” —Alexandra Kleeman
Book notes: Paperback, nonfiction, 256 pages.
Author bio: Matthew Salesses is the author of three novels, Disappear Doppelgänger Disappear, The Hundred-Year Flood, and I’m Not Saying, I’m Just Saying, and a forthcoming essay collection. He was adopted from Korea and currently lives in Iowa.