James Alan McPherson: Past American VoiceFiction
Interviewed by: Rebekah Presson
Catalog Number: 20180223
The late essayist and short story writer James Alan McPherson (1943-2016) was the first African-American to win the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction. In this 1991 archive interview with Rebekah Presson, he talks about his life as a writer, father, teacher, and more. Born and raised in Savannah, Georgia, McPherson graduated in History and English from Atlanta's Morris Brown College, and then received his Harvard Law Degree in 1968, before pursuing his M.F.A. at the Iowa Writer's Workshop. He later became one of the school's most beloved professors, teaching there until his retirement in 2014. McPherson's writing often portrayed race, family, and class issues, as in his story "A Loaf of Bread" from his 1977 Pulitzer Prize-winning collection Elbow Room, read in this program by Walter Coppage. The late writer will be honored at the 2018 AWP conference, where his daughter, Rachel McPherson, whom he talks about in this interview, will be present.
Our "Classics Series" continues as we go "Back to the Writing Well" to hear from writers of place, including the late Pat Conroy. Famous for his novels about the south, with several made into movies such as ...
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