Art Works Blog

A Conversation with Tobias Wolff

In Tobias Wolff's Big Read novel Old School, he explores what it means to be a writer, which for him always starts with being a reader. While Old School is not a memoir, it does draw heavily on Wolff's own experience as an adolescent at boarding school as well as his awakening as a writer. In this short film, Wolff talks about how he became a writer, what compelled him to write Old School, and how writers he admires have shaped his approach to the writing life. Learn more about Old School and other titles in the Big Read library at


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