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The Student Body: Short Stories about College Students and Professors Paperback – September 22, 2001

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

"University campuses, small and large, are treasure-troves of material for fiction writers," editor McNally states in his introduction. He has indeed unearthed some treasures, by writers as diverse as Richard Russo, Stephen King, Dan Chaon, and Thisbe Nissen. The collection is divided into two sections, separating stories told from the students' perspectives from those told from the educators' point-of-view. In Russo's gracefully told tale, a 70-year-old nun joins an advanced creative writing class and uses her story to tell the tale of her life, which is as rife with subtext as any novel. King's gripping story of a young man's memories of a serial killer roaming a college campus is a selection from his first short story collection. Chaon and Amy Knox Brown weigh in with stories of fraternity brothers, Gillian Kendall writes of a professor's deeply buried passion for her student, and Tom Whalen's attractive female student wanders through a myriad of lecherous professors. This excellent collection captures both the passion and the isolation in academia. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


"This wonderfully eclectic group of smart tales about professors and students proves that on either side of the teacher’s desk there are equal measures of yearning, trickery, passion, sorrow, and comedy."—Karen Stolz, author of World of Pies

"The Student Body is a real education. These fine and often funny stories by Richard Russo, Ron Carlson, and other teachers/writers prove that academic writing can rank at the head of the class."—Rita Ciresi, author of Pink Slip and Blue Italian

"A rich and varied anthology that will interest creative writing professors and students as well as the general public. Richard Russo’s powerful story, The Whore’s Child, is worth the price of admission alone; but there are other equally impressive and memorable stories. I will definitely put this on my list of required books in my fiction writing classes."—Judith Slater, author of The Baby Can Sing and Other Stories

Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press; 1st edition (September 22, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0299174042
  • ISBN-13: 978-0299174040
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,139,170 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John McNally is the author of three novels, After the Workshop, America's Report Card, and The Book of Ralph; and two story collections, Ghosts of Chicago and Troublemakers. He is also author Vivid and Continuous: Essays and Exercises for Writing Fiction (forthcoming, 2013) and The Creative Writer's Survival Guide: Advice from an Unrepentant Novelist. He has edited six anthologies, including Who Can Save Us Now: Brand-New Superheroes and Their Amazing (Short) Stories (co-edited with Owen King). John's short stories, essays, and reviews have appeared in over ninety magazines, newspapers, and anthologies, including Virginia Quarterly Review, Washington Post, The Sun, Open City, Chicago Tribune, New Sudden Fiction (Norton), and Long Story Short (University of North Carolina Press). His work has appeared in the textbooks Winding Roads: Exercises in Writing Creative Nonfiction and Behind the Short Story: From First Draft to Final Draft, both published by Longman. John has been the recipient of numerous awards for his writing, including a Chesterfield Writer's Film Project for screenwriting (sponsored by Paramount Pictures), the Jenny McKean Moore fellowship for fiction (sponsored by George Washington University), and the Carl Djerassi fellowship from the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing at the University of Wisconsin. His short stories have been cited three times as an outstanding story of the year in the Best American Short Stories series (1991, 2007, and 2008). John has taught creative writing at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Western State College of Colorado, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of South Florida at Tampa, George Washington University, and Columbia College Chicago. He has given over a hundred readings all across the country, from New York City to Honolulu, from Bellingham, Washington, to Sanibel Island, Florida. A native of Chicago's southwest side, he is at present an associate professor of English at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

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Format: Paperback
I first heard about this book when it was chosen by the CHICAGO TRIBUNE as an EDITOR'S CHOICE book of the week. This anthology does an excellent job of capturing the variety of campus life. Russo gives a knock-out story about a nun who takes a creative writing class. Dan Chaon's story about fraternity life is both quirky and moving. Two hilarious entries: Gordon Weaver's "Q: Questing" about a guy dividing his time teaching part-time at four colleges and carrying on affairs with a woman at each campus; and Lucia Perillo's "The Wife of the Indian" from the point of view of a cynical but hilarious woman who's married to a guy who lied about his ethnicity to get a job but then leaves his wife behind when he takes off with a student. Ron Carlson's "Hartwell" is a melancholy, heartbreaker of a story. In addition to work by other well-known writers -- Thomas Beller, Marly Swick, Thisbe Nissen -- the editor has included great stories by newcomers, such as Amy Brown, Rebecca Lee, and Alex Shishin. If you like good literary stories, and if you've spent any time on a college campus, you're bound to enjoy this book. Or if you're a parent sending your child off to college, this would make a great gift.
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