A window inside life at Augustana College

In Which I Am A Gigantic Nerd

Yesterday, as we all know, was Symposium Day. I trudged outside from the warm covers of my bed into what I thought would be just an average day. However, one of the sessions I attended was so great that I was thinking of the blog post I’d write before the session had even ended.

For those of you fortunate enough to have attended the session called “The Conscience of Literature: Testimony, Historical Fiction, and Social Justice” run by R. Clifton Spargo, then you already know what I’m about to say. This post is for those who missed out.


That fellow above is R. Clifton Spargo, and his laundry list of accomplishments is exhausting. Spargo is originally from Chicago and is a “fiction writer and cultural critic,” according to his website. He’s taught courses at Yale, Marquette, and currently works at the Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa. Spargo also helped create the non-profit The Voices and Faces Project, which is a “testimonial writing workshop for survivors of sexual violence and trafficking.” Spargo runs several workshops for this project every year, and recently completed a workshop this past weekend across the river in Davenport. He’s also a noted critic and analyst of Holocaust literature and writes a blog called “The HI/LO” for The Huffington Post.


Now that we’ve gotten through his accomplishments, let’s get to my favorite part of the presentation!

This guy loves F. Scott Fitzgerald. love F. Scott Fitzgerald. You can see the connections. But, it gets better. Spargo recently published a book titled Beautiful Fools: The Last Affair of Zelda and Scott FitzgeraldThe last meeting of Fitzgerald and his wife, Zelda, took place on vacation in Cuba, but there’s hardly any information about the events of this vacation. Spargo pieces together what he cans and writes this piece of historical fiction about what he believes took place during this vacation, long thought to be the Fitzgeralds’ attempt at saving their marriage.

If you didn’t catch any of that, click the link in the book title. Spargo does a much better job of explaining, considering he wrote the book!

And, if you’re interested in buying the book, it’s on sale at the Augustana bookstore as well as Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Happy reading!

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