Blaming university writing programs for the "malaise in American fiction" is narrow-minded and not very true. A good graduate writing program doesn't so much try to shape students as it allows a talented few two years of uninterrupted time to write.
Doctors and lawyers, like many of today's carpenters and cabinetmakers, go to school to learn the trade, and later practice it in the field. Why should writing be considered any less of a structure?
JAMES BROWN, CRESTLINE