A small-time con man on the run passes himself off as the world's most reclusive writer and ends up teaching in a prestigious writing program somewhere in the heart of Texas.

A gloriously far fetched tale, but alarmingly real to anyone who knows the weird world of MFA programs. Besides which, it's a shit-load of fun.

~ Peter Carey

The single wickedest satire I've read in years. Flat-out hilarious (and disturbing, in the most genial kind of way).

~ T.C. Boyle




James Magnuson is the author of eight previous novels in addition to his new novel, Famous Writers I Have Known. He is a former Hodder Fellow at Princeton University, the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship for his fiction, and the winner of the Jesse Jones Award from the Texas Institute of Letters.

Magnuson currently directs the James A. Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin.


The Gift

One of my favorite books is Lewis Hyde's The Gift, with its provocatively obscure subtitle, Imagination and The Erotic Life of Property. Cruising from economic theory to anthropology to literary criticism, it is one of those works...

Read more

The Hat Will Be Passed

Some thirty-plus years ago, I was a totally broke playwright in New York. One June weekend I went to a wedding in the far reaches of the Catskills and caught a ride back to Manhattan with a young Princeton professor of African...

Read more