Creative Writing

Johannes Lichtman (MFA '12) to Publish Novel with Simon & Schuster

The Department of Creative Writing is delighted to share the news that alumnus Johannes Lichtman‘s debut novel, Such Good Work, is slated for publication by Simon & Schuster.

The novel, which tells the story of an American teacher and opiate addict who pursues a fresh start in Sweden after losing his job in the United States, is scheduled for release in 2019.  Of the road to book publication, Johannes says, “I had written a novel before grad school; then I wrote a novel at UNCW. I wrote another the year after grad school and another one after that. Then I took sixth months away from writing, moved to Sweden, and finally started Such Good Work in 2015. So this is the fifth book I’ve written over the last ten years or so and the first to be published.”

Johannes’ perseverance and talent did not go unnoticed during his time at UNCW. Says Professor Clyde Edgerton, “Johannes Lichtman, in my view, has developed into one of the strongest writers to come through our creative writing program. His new book delivers a story that is extraordinarily important to world cultures and at the same time speaks to individuals about individuals. Many acclaimed novels manage only one or the other.”

Robert Siegel, Johannes’s thesis advisor, adds, “Johannes was just a wonder to work with during his time as a student: open, curious, thoughtful, motivated, and very, very funny. What stood out most about this writing was his focus on the sentence: each sentence felt like it had an individual, elegant reason for being.”

Johannes graduated from UNCW’s MFA program in creative writing in 2012. His work has appeared in Oxford American, the Los Angeles Review of Books, American Short Fiction, and the Sun, where readers eager for a taste of what’s to come can find the short story “You Really Have to Stop the Killing,” which features Jonas Anderson, the protagonist of Such Good Work.