John Douglas Marshall is teaching a class, “Kick-Starting Memoir” at Richard Hugo House this spring. He took some time to answer some questions for us.
What is the title of your class?
People should take this class because?
Past classes have demonstrated significant improvement for most students, plus easy camaraderie around the table that enlivens the discussions.
Can your students connect with you on social media? If so, how?
What are you reading right now?
About to start something new. Just finished Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain, which greatly impressed this former book critic.
What excites you about the material you’re teaching?
The way it fosters significant improvement in writing for most students in only six weeks.
What do you like best about teaching at Hugo House?
The variety of students who have taken my class, including those in their 20s to those in their 70s and every age in between.
What book(s) made you want to write?
My grandfather, S.L.A. Marshall, was a famous writer (in military history) and that impressed me at a young age.
If you could have coffee with any author living or dead, who would it be?
I have interviewed so many famous authors in person during my years as the book critic at the Seattle P-I, including quite a few several times. One of those whom I most enjoyed meeting twice was Nora Ephron, who, sadly, passed away last year. So I’d love to have coffee with Nora again and, this time, I’d be the one to bring the desserts from Dahlia Bakery.
What’s your favorite book? If you could pair it with a glass of wine or a pint of beer, what would you choose?
A Sport and A Pastime by James Salter. Paired with a strong red wine from France, a country brought achingly alive in so many poetic passages of Salter’s novel.