Bruce Machart - Character Study

Bruce Machart

Houston native and novelist Bruce Machart (assistant professor of English) never expected to be compared to literary legends William Faulkner and Cormac McCarthy. Yet his “sumptuous prose,” according to one critic, has earned him just such comparisons.

Professor Machart’s 2010 novel The Wake of Forgiveness, set in Texas at the turn of the last century, garnered rave reviews, won a mention on many critics’ Best of 2010 lists, and was a finalist for the PEN/USA Literary Prize. More recently, his short story collection Men in the Making was among Esquire magazine’s recommended books of 2011.

“It was surprising for a first-time literary novel to do so well,” he admits. “I couldn’t believe it. It seemed like good news kept coming every day.” His golden rule when providing guidance? “I try to teach students that stories are about characters, about human beings.”

His students at Bridgewater feel that they too have won a prize. “Professor Machart has really pushed me to take a closer look at not only my writing but the world around me,” says student Kurt Collins. “While taking his fiction writing workshop I thought to myself, ‘This is the class I came to college to take.’”