Naugatuck, CT -- (ReleaseWire) -- 02/21/2013 -- While it’s a fictional work by award-winning writer Jason Rapczynski, ‘MFA: The Novel’ presents a microcosm of the thousands of graduates who complete their studies and try to fit the mould of career writer. However, unlike most young writers including Rapczynski, his protagonist lives life to the extreme and suffers from his inability to separate life and art.
Written as a cautionary tale, ‘MFA: The Novel’ will appeal to any lover of fiction, as well as those who are living their own lives through the written word.
John is an alcoholic writer who drinks to keep writing and writes to keep drinking. While studying for his MFA at Emerson College, he records his day-to-day existence in the city of Boston, writes about his experiences in workshops and dive bars, and reads literary biographies. Of the seven American-born writers awarded the Nobel Prize, five were alcoholics, and he follows their staggered footsteps into a cycle of recurring situations, volatile relationships, and similarly disturbing encounters that threatens to push him over the edge.
He might be gathering a wealth of material for his autobiographical thesis—but will he survive to actually complete the program? Full of seedy sex scenes, rebellion, dysfunction, dark humor and self-destruction, ‘MFA’ is a defining installment in the gritty genre of transgressive fiction.
As the author explains, his protagonist runs into the same challenges as most other young career writers.
“Artists, writers, creative types…we tend not to be the most practical forward thinkers…and I think a lot of us simply make choices that result from an inability to separate our lives from our art. The label ‘starving artist’ doesn’t sound all that bad when you’re 22, 23, 25 even…and so we sign up for it,” says Rapczynski, who almost threw in the towel on his first novel before finding out he had won the coveted 3-Day Novel Contest.
He continues, “There will never be enough teaching jobs for the growing band of MFA graduates, which causes many to ‘go it alone’. There’s a whole generation—or population—of overeducated unemployable writers who have graduated into a world where nobody reads.”
Rapczynski’s own focus for success was on the way authors lived as people, something he believed spawned the inspiration for ‘MFA’.
“I spent my time more invested in the ways authors lived—as opposed to how they went about practicing their craft. To me, their lives seemed more interesting than their work. ‘MFA: The Novel’ really grew out of that. This idea that working within a structured environment in order to improve one’s writing…was no more effective than modeling one’s behavior after the way certain authors had lived,” he adds.
Since its release, the novel has garnered a consistent string of rave reviews.
“Rapczynski does it again with ‘MFA’: plunges us into the seedy underbelly—this time in the form of a young alcoholic whose drinking, sex life, and ambitions are equally promiscuous. In the tradition of Charles Bukowski, Jack Kerouac, and William Burroughs, in ‘MFA’ the narrator rises above his narrative—sharp, witty, sad, and grimily real—so we can’t help but like and feel for him. Read it and weep,” says Elizabeth Inness-Brown, author of ‘Burning Marguerite’.
‘MFA: The Novel’, published by CreateSpace, is available now: http://amzn.to/12G2iHn
About the Author: Jason Rapczynski
Jason Rapczynski was born in 1978 in New Haven, CT and has lived in Boston, Burlington, VT and the Maine Woods. He received his B.A. in philosophy and English literature from Saint Michael’s College and holds an MFA in creative writing from Emerson College. He has worked as a rare book dealer, a writer for a nationally syndicated radio program, and an instructor of writing and literature in the Connecticut Community Colleges system. He is the author of two books: ‘The Videographer’, winner of the 31st Annual International 3-Day Novel Contest, and ‘MFA: The Novel’. He currently lives and writes in southern Connecticut.