Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation


English Language and Literatures



First Advisor

David Cowart


This dissertation acts as a compendium and an analysis of DeLillo's writerly counsel, with an eye to how this advice might promise fresh ways to consider and analyze his fictions. Chapter one focuses on DeLillo's statements to the larger writing world - advice found in interviews and published essays. While he has never outlined a formal gradus for prose writers, a careful reading of these texts finds DeLillo returning again and again to what the writer should take pains with - or avoid, ignore, or eschew. But DeLillo has also given advice more directly. Chapter two focuses on writing advice in correspondence between DeLillo and David Foster Wallace. Chapter three is devoted to the epistolary relationship between DeLillo and Jonathan Franzen. In Chapter four I compare DeLillo's advice with that of a selection of his contemporaries: William Gass, William Gaddis, Robert Coover, Donald Barthelme, and Thomas Pynchon.