Bruce Holsinger is the author of the USA Today and Los Angeles Times-bestselling novel The Gifted School (Riverhead Books, 2019). A Book of the Month Club main selection and described by The Wall Street Journal as “the novel that predicted the College Admissions Scandal,” The Gifted School won the Colorado Book Award and was named one of the Best Books of 2019 by NPR and numerous publications. The novel is currently in development as a TV series with NBC/Universal Television. His most recent novel, The Displacements (2022), was hailed by The New York Times as “hypnotic” and “a thorough translation to fiction of what it can feel like to live right now.” The novel was chosen as an inaugural title in the Humanitarian Book Club, an initiative of the United Nations Office of Humanitarian Action (OCHA), and is a finalist for the 2023 Virginia Literary Award in Fiction. He is also the author of A Burnable Book and The Invention of Fire, award-winning historical novels published by William Morrow (HarperCollins). His essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, Vanity Fair, The Washington Post, Slate, and many other publications. His fiction has been featured several times on NPR, including in interviews with Robin Young of Here & Now and Renee Montagne of Weekend Edition. Since 2005 he has taught in the Department of English at the University of Virginia, where he specializes in medieval literature and modern critical thought and serves as editor of the quarterly journal New Literary History. His nonfiction books have won major awards from the Modern Language Association, the Medieval Academy of America, and the American Musicological Society. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship.



“Bruce designed a great curriculum for a 4-week course. We were able to cover all of the broad but specific topics in detail. He was great at moderating student discussions/feedback as well.”

“The instructor did a good job of engaging all the participants, he sought out and responded to participant requests to cover specific topics and created an environment where people were comfortable asking questions and sharing their views.”

“Bruce is an accomplished, now best-selling author. We therefore received guidance from a professional. Guest speakers were impressive, and I liked the slide presentations and the instructor’s observations. I appreciated the book recommendations for learning the craft. The feedback on my jacket copy was helpful.” 

“If you’re serious about writing a great first page and want superb guidance on how to do it, take this class.” 

“Bruce is a phenomenal instructor. It would be easy to be intimidated by his knowledge and experience, but he invites his students to engage in learning in a way that conveys that he has absolute confidence that whatever you contribute to discussions will contain important kernels everyone else can learn from.” 

“The course was well-designed, filled with strong craft tips, lots of opportunity for discussion. The course met my needs and motivated me to look at my work with a much more critical eye.”

“I appreciated his carefully organized, readable slideshows, which he generously shared with us for future reference. I loved the way that he incorporated the examples that we brought to the class and helped us articulate what worked or didn’t work for us. The format of the class, moving from the broad to the specific and then ending with workshops, helped us understand first pages on a micro and macro level.”