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Do creative writing courses offer a fantasy?

16 June 2008

'One of the things you notice is that when you switch on the television and a student has gone mad with a machine gun on a campus in America, it's always a writing student. The writing courses particularly when they have the word 'creative" in them, are the new mental hospitals...

'The fantasy is that all the students will become successful writers - and no one will disabuse them of that. When you use the word "creative" and the word "course", there is something deceptive about it...

'When I teach them, they are always better at the end - and more unhappy.'

Hanif Kureishi, speaking at the Hay Literary Festival, quoted in the Independent on Sunday