Alumni News

Literary Icon Bret Easton Ellis ’86 Reflects on Bennington in Recent Interview

Iconic writer Bret Easton Ellis '86 was on Northeast Public Radio last week promoting his new novel Imperial Bedrooms, the sequel to his bestselling debut Less Than Zero, which, published by Vintage in 1985, launched the 21-year-old Bennington student into literary stardom.

Talking to host Joe Donahue on The Roundtable, Easton Ellis explained what drew him to Bennington, citing the College's strong writing program and unique academic structure, which enabled him to focus more intently on his craft.

"It was a good fit for me because first of all, it had the best writing program in the U.S. for such a small school," Easton Ellis said. "Also, you could create your own curriculum, and your own course schedule. It was a school that you went to if you were very focused and knew what you wanted to do.  For people like myself, who knew what they wanted to do—which was to be a writer—it was the perfect place."

The success of Less Than Zero earned Easton Ellis a spot in the "literary brat pack," a media term coined by the Village Voice in 1987 to describe a group of young writers who were considered the new faces of literature. In between thecult classic and its just-released sequel, Easton Ellis published four other novels, including The Rules of Attraction, American Psycho, Glamorama, and Lunar Park, as well as a collection of short stories, The Informers. His works have been translated into 27 different languages, and are frequently adapted for film.

To hear his recent interview on Northeast Public Radio, click here.