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Genre, Nonfiction - Pirates 900x550

Memoir, the familiar essay, critical and cultural essays, reviews–the many genres of “nonfiction” writing provide a vast field for reportage, reflection, confession, and speculation.

Varying in tone from conversational intimacy to artful formality, we speak the full range of our experience and our minds in essays of different kinds, constructing places where writers and readers meet within realms familiar and strange. The French verb essayer, “to try,” captures the spirit of the literary essay, which is a venturing forth, less a declamation of settled views than a meditation in which story and thought collaborate in an improvisation that can lead, with luck, to discovery.

Robert Schultz’s nonfiction includes We Were Pirates, a work of history and biography, and a variety of essays ranging from memoir, cultural and political comment, literary criticism, and journalistic opinion pieces.  His essays and criticism have appeared in The Hudson Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Subtropics, The Gettysburg Review, as well as a variety of edited collections and newspapers.  He is currently working on a series of connected essays entitled Father, Son, and Sports.

We Were Pirates: A Torpedoman's Pacific War

We Were Pirates

Robert Hunt was everywhere that mattered in the Pacific war, serving as a Torpedoman on the submarine U.S.S. Tambor on 12 of its 13 war patrols. He saw the fires on Wake Island when Japanese planes attacked in the first hours of the war, and he stood on the Tambor’s bow as it cruised into…

We Were Pirates (Companion DVD)

The companion DVD to We Were Pirates: A Torpedoman’s Pacific War includes over 60 minutes of video interviews with Robert Hunt, Torpedoman on the USS Tambor for 12 consecutive war patrols. In these interviews Robert Hunt provides eyewitness accounts of sighting and tracking four Japanese cruisers during the Battle of Midway; weathering a near-fatal, 17-hour…
  • 2009
Writes of Passage cover

Writes of Passage

Collected from twenty-five years of The Hudson Review, these pieces by both emerging writers and established storytellers—including Elizabeth Spencer, William Trevor, and Tennessee Williams—were first published in the magazine based on their own merits, without regard to a developing genre. But the editors became aware of a unifying theme through the magazine’s Writers in the…

Cultural Essays

Cultural essays such as “When Men Look at Women: Sex in an Age of Theory” (The Hudson Review, Autumn 1995) and “Two Stories About the Body: On a Photograph by George Steinmetz” (The Gettysburg Review, Autumn 2005) treat a range of topics, including photography, film, advertising, fashion, sex, and religion. “When Men Look at Women,”…
  • 1995 – present
The Hudson Review cover

Cultural Essay: “Letter from Virginia”

Shortly after the Battle of Fredericksburg, Walt Whitman traveled to Falmouth, Virginia in search of his wounded brother. There he discovered his Civil War vocation when he assisted the wounded in Chatham Manor, which had been commandeered by the Union army and turned into a field hospital. Outside, at the foot of two trees, he…
On the Poetry of Philip Levine cover.

Critical Essays

Robert Schultz’s reviews of contemporary poets for The Hudson Review have been selected for inclusion in reference works and single-author studies, including “On the Poetry of Philip Levine” (University of Michigan Press, 1991) and “The Way Home: On the Poetry of Colette Inez” (Word Press, 2003).  Schultz’s contribution to “A Gradual Twilight: An Appreciation of…
  • 1991 – present
Father, Son, and Sports cover

Father, Son, and Sports

In Father, Son, and Sports a series of memoir-essays puzzle into the continuous story of a famous father and a striving son, their relationship mediated chiefly by participation in and talk about sports. As the father’s career develops—Dick Schultz was a coach, an athletics director, and Executive Director of, first, the National Collegiate Athletics Association,…