Professor Ted Swenson teaches “Beginning Fiction” at a small college in Vermont. It’s not going all that well; one after another, the seminar workshops ghastly student stories. Then, beyond expectation, a silent goth girl hands him a few pages of wonderful prose – and calamity ensues. A fine book with a fine ear, this makes an intriguing triple feature with Michael Chabon’s Wonder Boys and Zadie Smith’s On Beauty.