Practically no writer exists now who does not intersect as some point with the university system—this is unquestionably the chief sociological fact of modern American literature. Writers began moving into the university around 1940, at the tail end of the Federal Writers’ Project, which paid them to produce tour guides of the United States. The first university-sustained writers mostly taught English and composition; in the 1960s and especially the 1970s, however, universities began to grant graduate degrees in creative writing. Now vast regiments of accredited writers are dispatched in waves to the universities or Tucson and Houston, Iowa City and Irvine. George Saunders, the great short story writer and my adviser at Syracuse, told me he knew only two non-teaching writers in his generation (born around 1960): Donald Antrim was one and I forgot the other.