Bruce Wheaton interviews Robin Hemley in this edition of On the Fly. At the time of this interview, Hemley was the director of the University of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program.
Much of the interview focuses on Hemley’s 2009 memoir, Do-Over!, in which he revisits experiences from his childhood. Wheaton and Hemley discuss the book’s origins in a conversation with his students, the ways in which it is what Hemley calls an “immersion memoir,” and his return to kindergarten.
Hemley is the author a novel, The Last Studebaker, as well as four collections of short stories, including The Mouse Town & Other Stories, All You Can Eat, The Big Ear, and Reply All: Stories. His is also the author of Turning Life into Fiction; Nola: A Memoir of Faith, Art, and Madness; Invented Eden: The Elusive, Disputed History of the Tasaday; and A Field Guide for Immersion Writing: Memoir, Journalism, and Travel.
Hemley served as the director of the UI Nonfiction Writing Program for nine years. He now serves as writer-in-residence and director of the Writing Program at Yale-NUS College in Singapore.