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Conversations with John L'Heureux

Introduction by Tobias Wolff

These conversations between John L'Heureux and Dikran Karagueuzian investigate the nature of writing fiction and the writer's need to write. They begin with a discussion of contemporary fiction, its virtues and vices and its distinguished practitioners. And from there to writing novels as opposed to short stories and on to the social life of the writer and the private life of L'Heureux. And finally they explore L'Heureux's years as Director of the Stanford Writing Program and his relationship with some of his better known students: Ron Hansen, Allan Gurganus, Tobias Wolff, Harriet Doerr, Kathryn Harrison, Alice Hoffman, Stephanie Vaughn, David Henry Hwang, Jeffrey Eugenides, ZZ Packer, Bo Caldwell among others... with a glance cast at what can and can't be taught in a creative writing program.

Since 1973, John L'Heureux has taught fiction writing, the short story, and dramatic literature in the English Department at Stanford University. He is the former Director of the Creative Writing Program, most recently 1993-94, 1996. He has served on both sides of the writing desk: as staff editor and contributing editor for The Atlantic and as the author of seventeen books of poetry, fiction and non- fiction. His stories have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, Harper's, The New Yorker, and have frequently been anthologized in Best American Stories and Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards.

Dikran Karagueuzian is the Director of CSLI Publications.


  • Acknowledgements
  • Preface
  • Introduction by Tobias Wolff
  • Interview 1
  • Interview 2
  • Interview 3
  • Interview 4
  • Interview 5
  • Interview 6
  • Interview 7
  • Selected Reviews of L'Heureux's Fiction
    • Tiger White Collar
    • Clang Birds
      From Celibacy to Commitment
    • Family Affairs/span>
      Priests and Victims
    • Jessica Fayer
      A spare, tidy novel
    • Desires
      Short Stories Strung like Perfect Pearls
    • A Woman Run Mad
      Nothing Recedes like Excess
    • Comedians
      God the Meddler
    • An Honorable Profession
      Alone in the Classroom
    • The Shrine at Altamira
      Sanctified Madness
    • The Handmaid of Desire
      Textual Politics
    • Having Everything
      A Human Exploration
    • The Miracle
      Wonders Never Cease

January 2011

ISBN (Paperback): 9781575866000
ISBN (Cloth): 9781575866017

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