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The original manuscript completed in 1992 that chronicles an attempt led by Oregon State provost Graham Spanier to fire a writing instructor for publishing a commentary on corruption at Oregon State University. The instructor, Barry Roberts Greer, a widely published writer, fought back for two years until he was forced out at OSU and Spanier left to eventually become the now disgraced former president of Pennsylvania State University. Strong parallels exist between Greer's experience at OSU and the experiences of the protagonist in A New Life, Bernard Malamud's novel based on his own experience teaching at Oregon State.