06 January 2011

READ: Jayne Anne Phillips

Here is just a quick introduction to Jayne Anne Phillips, an accomplished novelist and short story writer from West Virginia, who has been praised by the likes of Raymond Carver and Michiko Kakutani. She has published a number of books with Vintage Contemporaries, and is well worth checking out. Here is some more about her from her website:

Jayne Anne Phillips was born and raised in Buckhannon, West Virginia. Phillips graduated from West Virginia University, earning a B.A. in 1974, and later graduated from the Iowa Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa.

Her first book of stories, Black Tickets, published in 1979 when she was 26, won the prestigious Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction, awarded by the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. Featured in Newsweek, Black Tickets was pronounced "stories unlike any in our literature . . . a crooked beauty" by Raymond Carver and established Phillips as an writer "in love with the American language." She was praised by Nadine Gordimer as "the best short story writer since Eudora Welty" and Black Tickets has since become a classic of the short story genre.

Machine Dreams, Phillips' first novel, published in 1984, elegantly and astutely observes one American family from the turn of the century through the Vietnam War. A New York Times best seller, Machine Dreams was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award and chosen by the New York Times Book Review as one of twelve BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR.

Shelter, her 1994 novel, a haunting, suspenseful evocation of childhood rite-of-passage, was awarded an Academy Award in Literature by the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and chosen one of the Best Books of the Year by Publishers Weekly.

Jayne Anne Phillips' works have been translated and published in twelve foreign languages. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, and a Bunting Fellowship from the Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College. Her work has appeared most recently in Harper's, Granta, Doubletake, and the Norton Anthology of Contemporary Fiction. She has taught at Harvard University, Williams College, and Boston University, and is currently Professor of English and Director of a new MFA Program at Rutgers-Newark, the State University of New Jersey.

Her newest book Lark and Termite, was a 2009 finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction.

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