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COURTESY OF ALLAN GURGANUS

Crafting Local Souls:

The Metafiction of Allan Gurganus by Zackary Vernon

On at least two occasions, I have heard Allan Gurganus say, “I rewrite to be reread.” Re-reading some of his fiction in the past few weeks has not only been a great pleasure, but has also made me reflect on what it means to rewrite and rewrite and rewrite, what it means to craft prose that is deserving of careful scrutiny time and time again. Gurganus is often referred to as a “writer’s writer.” The meaning of this, on one hand, is clear if one peruses the many laudatory reviews by fellow authors published in top magazines and journals or if one reads the ebullient endorsements from heavyweight writers that appear on the covers of his books. On the other hand, though, I think Gurganus is a writer’s writer because he often writes about writing – not in how-to nonfiction pieces for aspiring writers, but in the fiction itself.

ABOVE “Halloween’s Herald of Democracy” Allan Gurganus, as Zackary Vernon calls him in his

essay about the author’s “legendary Halloween show” (in NCLR 2014), Hillsborough, NC, 2017

North Carolina Literary Review Online 2018  

A literary review published online annually by East Carolina University and by the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association.

North Carolina Literary Review Online 2018  

A literary review published online annually by East Carolina University and by the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association.

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