Faculty

Lester Goran 

Lester Goran grew up in Pittsburgh.  He is the author of The Paratrooper of Mechanic Avenue (1960), Maria Light (1962), The Candy Butcher's Farewell (1964), The Stranger in the Snow (1966), The Demon in the Sun Parlor (1968), The Keeper of Secrets (1972), This New Land (1980), Covenant with Tomorrow (1982), Mrs. Beautiful (1985), The Bright Streets of Surfside: The Record of a Friendship with Isaac Bashevis Singer (1994), Tales From The Irish Club (a 1995 New York Times Notable Book), She Loved Me Once and Other Stories (1997), Bing Crosby's Last Song (1998), and Outlaws of the Purple Cow and Other Stories (2000).  More about Goran and his writing can be found in an article in The Dictionary of Literary Biography, 2001.

Life Philosophy:
Walk Fast and No One Will Ask Questions

Teaching Statement:
In practicing the art of teaching it’s important for the teacher to remember that, even though classes take on personalities, individual students are only partly in imagination and intentions members of the collective identity of a class. In teaching an art like writing fiction the most basic necessity for the teacher is to divine the student’s unique needs or sense of what writing means to them generally and how that applies specifically to their task at hand. What does a student think he or she is doing? There must be an attempt to work with the student to accomplish with them what individual aspirations they hold for their gifts. At best, the teacher should have no agenda, no theories beyond being of use, no overly optimistic promise or, again, no pessimistic vision about the work under consideration. At best, people with extensive publications or otherwise creditable backgrounds should allow the student to observe the how of a work of fiction in progress, generally through the student’s own work. Painters who teach often have studios where students attend to watch the artist in performance at his or her easel or working with whatever particular material needed for an artistic vision to emerge. Absent that ideal use of a teacher-artist’s talents, a writer seated at a computer is no substitute for brushstrokes and colors. The student’s own work must serve as the easel for observation of a work in progress.