Bel Canto author Ann Patchett tells the Palm Beach Post about the nonfiction book about cops that didn’t come off, her friendship with opera singer Renee Fleming, and, most pointedly, why the Iowa Writers Workshop wasn’t for her:
Who were your teachers at the Writer’s Workshop in Iowa?
That’s not an interesting question. The interesting question is who were my teachers at Sarah Lawrence: Allan Gurganus, Grace Paley and Russell Banks. All three were just incredible and life-changing. By comparison, Iowa was anti-climactic. At Sarah Lawrence, those three people were on the faculty; they were committed to the school and the students. The Iowa people were trying to get by with as little contact with the students as possible.