Annual Literary Festival
Old Dominion University
October 5-8, 1981
Like everyone else, writers needed to eat during the Depression, and the federal government put more than six thousand of them to work in what W.H. Auden called "one of the noblest and most absurd undertakings ever attempted by any state." Jerre Mangione, former national coordinating editor of the Federal Writers' Project (1935- 1943), will tell the story of this exciting and controversial branch of the WPA and relate it to the current economic conditions facing today's creative writers.
Mangione is the author of ten books of fiction and non-fiction, including the best-selling memoirs Mount Allegro and An Ethnic at Large. His Wednesday afternoon talk comes from his book The Dream and the Deal, hailed by Alfred Kazin as "one of the best social histories of American writers in our time." [extracted from 1981 brochure]