"A social comedy of the creative class set in 2003, with the War on Terror looming behind, we follow a handful of characters at a prestigious MFA program in Crete, Illinois, that sounds not so unlike the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, of which Ives is a graduate. Written with a subtle, sardonic humor, rife with miscommunication, misdirection, and spindly sentences, Loudermilk brings to our attention the commodification of creativity by the very institutions we attend to improve our 'craft,' but inevitably leave with a false sense of talent, worth, and security."
A tale of two idiots―the handsome, charismatic Troy Augustus Loudermilk and his unassuming, socially anxious friend Harry Rego―who, in the early days of the new millennium, scam their way into a fellowship at the most prestigious creative writing program in the country
It’s the end of summer 2003. George W. Bush has recently declared the mission in Iraq accomplished, the unemployment rate is at its highest in years, and Martha Stewart has just been indicted for insider trading. Meanwhile, somewhere in the Midwest, Troy Augustus Loudermilk (fair-haired, statuesque, charismatic) and his companion Harry Rego (definitely none of those things) step out of a silver Land Cruiser and onto the campus of The Seminars, America’s most prestigious creative writing program, to which Loudermilk has recently been accepted for his excellence in poetry.
Loudermilk, however, has never written a poem in his life.
Wickedly entertaining, beguiling, layered, and sly, Loudermilk is a social novel for our time: a comedy of errors that deftly examines class, gender, and inheritance, and subverts our pieties about literature, authorship, art making, and the institutions that sustain them.