I’m pleased to see that the Creative Writing Program at the University of Miami is celebrating the 50th teaching anniversary of American novelist Lester Goran. The College of Arts and Sciences is trying to raise funds to create a “Goran Endowed Scholarship in Creative Writing”.
“Lester Goran is the paradigm of a great teacher and the highest example of a true American writer.”
At the university website there is a biography of Lester with bibliography, short interview, letters and testimonials from students.
In late 2008 I travelled to Miami to tape an interview with Lester on his novels and stories. Our raw transcripts ran thirty thousand words. I’ve since edited them down to an interview text of just under ten thousand words in the Paris Review style. The interview is the first to cover in detail Lester’s entire career from his first novel, The Paratrooper of Mechanic Avenue (1960) to his acclaimed Irish Club story collections. I hope the interview will be published in the coming months.
Late last year I presented an academic paper on two of Goran’s Pittsburgh novels, based in part on my interview material, at the Interdisciplinary Themes conference ‘The City: Culture, Society, Technology’ at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. The paper will soon be published online as part of the conference proceedings. [UPDATE: See Here]
For those new to Goran I suggest tracking down a copy of his long out-of-print 1964 novel The Candy Butcher’s Farewell. It’s a rolicking comic novel of Atlantic City burlesque shows.