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Alison Lurie (born September 3, 1926) is an American novelist and academic. She won the Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize
for her 1984 novel Foreign Affairs. Although better known as a novelist, she has also written numerous non-fiction books and articles, particularly on children's literature and the semiotics of dress.

Contents

1 Personal life 2 Fiction

2.1 Themes and characters 2.2 Adaptations

3 Children's literature 4 Non-fiction 5 Awards 6 Notes 7 References 8 External links

Personal life[edit] Lurie was born in Chicago
Chicago
but grew up in White Plains, New York, the daughter of Bernice (Stewart) and Harry Lawrence Lurie, a Latvian-born professor.[1][2][3] She graduated from Radcliffe College
Radcliffe College
in 1947.[4] The next year she married Jonathan Peale Bishop, then a graduate student at Harvard. Bishop was a critic and essayist who, in the 1970s and later, became a writer of autobiographically-inflected books about Catholic Christianity. He taught at Amherst College, in Massachusetts (1957–61), and then at Cornell University
Cornell University
(1961–). Lurie moved along with him. Lurie and Bishop have three sons;[4] they divorced in 1985 after a long separation. She is currently married to the writer Edward Hower.[5] She spends part of her time in London, part at Cornell, and part in Key West, Florida. In 1970, Lurie began to teach in the English Department at Cornell, where she was tenured in 1979. She taught Children’s Literature (a new field in the 1970s) and writing. In 1989 she was named the F. J. Whiton Professor of American Literature at Cornell and is now a professor emerita. Fiction[edit] Lurie’s published novels:

Love and Friendship (1962). Emmy Stockwell Turner and Miranda Fenn, two faculty wives at the all-male elite and isolated Convers College, juggle their love and friendship for their husbands and for a womanizing composer. The Nowhere City (1965). Paul Cattleman, history grad student, moves to L.A. to work for the military-industrial complex and finds that neither the company nor his beatnik mistress has a sense of history; he returns to Harvard. His wife however, with the help of a womanizing psychiatrist, frees herself from disabling fears and decides to stay. Imaginary Friends (1967). Roger Zimmern, a young sociology professor at an upstate New York university (Corinth), helps a senior professor investigate a group of small-town individuals who are receiving messages from Ro of the planet Varna. Real People (1969). The writer Janet Belle Smith, wife of Clark Stockwell II, spends a summer at Illyria, an artist’s colony, along with assorted poets, artists, musicians, and the critic Leonard Zimmern. In sorting out her platonic from her sexual love affairs, she realizes she needs to write about Illyria, even though that means she can never return there. The War Between the Tates
The War Between the Tates
(1974). Only Children (1979). In 1936, nine-year-old Mary Ann Hubbard (Miranda Fenn) and Lolly Zimmern (Lorin Jones), along with Lolly’s teenaged half-brother Leonard, spend a Fourth of July in the country with their parents and a teacher. The parents flirt and contemplate adultery while the children learn what they can about themselves and the world. Foreign Affairs (1984); Pulitzer Prize. The Truth About Lorin Jones (1989); Prix Femina Étranger. Polly Alter, divorced with a teenage son and attracted to a group of lesbians, is trying to write the story of the long-dead artist Lorin Jones. Was she a victim whose painting suffered from a series of overbearing men in her life, or an opportunist who exploited men to further her painting? Polly studies the New York art scene, New England elite college friends and teachers, Zimmern relatives, the ex-husband at Cape Cod, and the ex-lover in Key West. Women and Ghosts (1994). A collection of nine short stories (or ten: a retelling of the myth of Medea “Something Borrowed, Something Blue,” is not in all editions, but is available online) in which several female protagonists confront extreme emotional states, the unexplained and the supernatural. All settings are contemporary. Locales include New York, New England, London, Key West and New Delhi. Among the characters who narrate or figure in the stories are Ruth and Celia Zimmern, Gary Mumpson, Janet Belle Smith and assorted Stockwells, and Miranda Fenn. Miranda’s son Charles marries Celia, Leonard Zimmern’s daughter, in the story “In the Shadow.” The daughter of the beatnik (proto-hippie) Tylers of “Nowhere City” has married Clark Stockwell III, Janet’s son, in “Waiting for the Baby.” Five stories appeared previously in various magazines.[6] The Last Resort (1998). The naturalist Wilkie Walker allows his wife Jenny to remove him from Convers College to Key West, with the idea that the latter place might be favorable for suicide. Jenny on the other hand hopes he will continue to work on his books, on which she quietly collaborates. Jenny finds love with Lee Weiss (a Zimmern cousin) at Artemis Lodge, and Wilkie decides he might as well live. Barbie and Myra Mumpson are concerned about Myra’s gay nephew. Truth and Consequences (2006). Corinth University architecture professor Alan MacKenzie hurts his back at a department picnic and life changes for him and his wife Jane. They get some help from Bernie Kotelchuck and his wife Danielle (formerly Zimmern). After a period of balancing giving and receiving care, they find new loves in the visiting author Delia Delaney and her husband. Under Delia’s influence, Alan becomes an artist.

Themes and characters[edit] Lurie’s novels, with their light touch and focus on portraying the emotions of well-educated adulterers, bear more resemblance to some 20th-century British authors, (e.g. Kingsley Amis, David Lodge) than to the big American authors of her generation.[7] Her titles and the saga-like intertwining of her characters suggest high ambitions. Love and Friendship, the title of her first published novel, is shared with an early novel by Jane Austen; it takes on the problem of the American college as initiation rite into manhood, and the awkwardness of the role therein assigned to women. The next title, The Nowhere City, evokes both Thomas More’s Utopia
Utopia
(Greek for “nowhere”) and Gertrude Stein’s comment about Oakland, California, “There is no there there.” Utopias are the subject of Imaginary Friends and Real People: the small group of spiritualists examined by a sociologist and the small group of artists examined by a writer. The War between the Tates and Foreign Affairs imply by their titles parallels between academic adulteries and political upheavals. The Truth about Lorin Jones and Truth and Consequences take us back to the problem of truth-telling, both in life and in art. A number of Lurie's characters are, like her, born in 1926, give or take a few years: Lorin Jones and Mary Ann/Miranda Fenn,[8] Janet Belle Smith (42 in Real People, 1969), Erica Tate (40 in 1969 and like Lurie a Radcliffe B.A.), Vinnie Miner (54 in Foreign Affairs, 1978, and like Lurie a professor of children’s literature), and Wilkie Walker (70 in Last Resort, 1998). Since these characters have also followed Lurie from Amherst/Convers to Los Angeles to Cornell/Corinth and to London and Key West, inevitably one considers the possibility that some at least of these characters represent the author herself. Janet Belle Smith (Real People) and Delia Delaney (Truth and Consequences) are rather pretentious writers of whom Lurie makes fun some of the time, but they also reflect aspects of her experience as a writer.[9] Adaptations[edit]

The War Between the Tates
The War Between the Tates
was adapted as a television movie for NBC in 1977. It starred Elizabeth Ashley and Richard Crenna. Imaginary Friends was adapted as a Thames Television
Thames Television
series in 1987. The setting was moved from upstate New York to the English coast. Foreign Affairs was adapted as a television movie in 1993, starring Joanne Woodward, Brian Dennehy, and Eric Stoltz.

Children's literature[edit] Lurie has also produced a number of books for children, in collaboration with illustrators such as Monika Beisner and Jessica Souhami. Examples include:

The Oxford Book of Modern Fairy Tales (1975) The Heavenly Zoo (1979), illustrated by Monika Beisner. Clever Gretchen And Other Forgotten Fairy Tales (1980) Fabulous Beasts (1981), illustrated by Monika Beisner. The Black Geese (1999), illustrated by Jessica Souhami.

Non-fiction[edit] In 1981 Lurie published The Language of Clothes. This book lays out some principles of communication by means of dress. Lurie co-edited the Garland Library of Children's Classics (73 vol.). In 1990, she published Don't Tell the Grown-ups: Subversive Children's Literature. A further collection of essays on this theme, Boys and Girls Forever, appeared in 2003. Her essay "The Supernatural Power of Knitting" appears in the anthology Knitting Yarns: Writers on Knitting (W. W. Norton & Company, 2013). She often reviews literature and children’s culture for the New York Review of Books. In 2001 Lurie published a memoir, Familiar Spirits, recounting a decades-long friendship with poet James Merrill
James Merrill
(1926–1995) and his partner David Jackson (1922–2001). Lurie credits Merrill and Jackson for encouraging her writing in the 1950s, a period during which she suffered many rejections from publishers. Awards[edit]

1963–1964 Yaddo Foundation
Yaddo Foundation
fellow 1965 Guggenheim Foundation fellow 1966 Yaddo Foundation
Yaddo Foundation
fellow 1967 Rockefeller Foundation
Rockefeller Foundation
fellow 1978 American Academy of Arts and Letters
American Academy of Arts and Letters
literary award 1985 Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize
for fiction 1989 Prix Femina Étranger 2005 elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences[10] 2006 University of Oxford
University of Oxford
honorary degree 2007 University of Nottingham
University of Nottingham
honorary degree 2012–14 New York State Author [11]

Notes[edit]

^ [1] ^ [2] ^ https://www.theguardian.com/books/2003/oct/25/featuresreviews.guardianreview15 ^ a b "Biography Profile: Alison Lurie" Marquis Who's Who on the Web ^ edwardhower.com ^ Lurie, Alison. Women and Ghosts. New York: Doubleday. 1994 ^ E.g. “Comedies of Manners, Laced with Morals,” review of ‘’Last Resort’’ by Mel Gussow, New York Times 9/5/1998: “... she has more in common with English authors from Evelyn Waugh to David Lodge than she does with many of her American contemporaries.”. ^ Lorin Jones’s birth year is mentioned in Truth about Lorin Jones, p. 43 (Little, Brown hb edition), and she and Mary Ann are the same age. ^ Lurie’s relation to Janet is obviously complex; in the biographical note printed in Real People, she dissociates herself explicitly from Janet, saying she herself is an “insensitive lady novelist” as opposed to sensitive Janet. At the same time, Janet’s experiences of Illyria presumably reflect Lurie’s own at Yaddo, and both make the decision to write about this forbidden topic and so be cast out of paradise. Janet toys during the first part of Real People with the idea of writing a series of ghost stories, one of which involves a fat ghost; Lurie’s only volume of short stories is called Women and Ghosts (1995) and this includes one called “Fat People.” Delia in Truth and Consequences, a highly theatrical Southern writer who seems far from Lurie’s character or persona, also writes ghost stories. One feels that Lurie’s ambivalence with regard to her heroines is what makes them so sharp and moving. ^ "Retired Cornell professor elected to arts academy" The Post-Standard (Syracuse, New York) 5 May 2005 p. 78 ^ "Retired Cornell English Professor Named New York State Author" The Cornell Daily Sun (Ithaca, New York) 31 Aug 2012

References[edit]

Costa, Richard Haver, (1992) “Alison Lurie.” Twayne United States Authors Series, No 602 Magill, Frank N. (ed.) (1991) "Alison Lurie" Critical Survey of Long Fiction: English Language Series (rev.ed.) Salem Press, Pasadena, California, vol. 5, pp. 2126–2134, ISBN 0-89356-830-9 (vol 5)

External links[edit]

Lurie's own biography Lurie archive from The New York Review of Books Three Don Swaim interviews with Lurie (1984, 1988, and 1990)

v t e

Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize
for Fiction

1918–1925

His Family
His Family
by Ernest Poole
Ernest Poole
(1918) The Magnificent Ambersons
The Magnificent Ambersons
by Booth Tarkington
Booth Tarkington
(1919) The Age of Innocence
The Age of Innocence
by Edith Wharton
Edith Wharton
(1921) Alice Adams by Booth Tarkington
Booth Tarkington
(1922) One of Ours
One of Ours
by Willa Cather
Willa Cather
(1923) The Able McLaughlins
The Able McLaughlins
by Margaret Wilson (1924) So Big by Edna Ferber
Edna Ferber
(1925)

1926–1950

Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis
Sinclair Lewis
(declined) (1926) Early Autumn
Early Autumn
by Louis Bromfield
Louis Bromfield
(1927) The Bridge of San Luis Rey
The Bridge of San Luis Rey
by Thornton Wilder
Thornton Wilder
(1928) Scarlet Sister Mary
Scarlet Sister Mary
by Julia Peterkin (1929) Laughing Boy by Oliver La Farge (1930) Years of Grace by Margaret Ayer Barnes (1931) The Good Earth
The Good Earth
by Pearl S. Buck
Pearl S. Buck
(1932) The Store
The Store
by Thomas Sigismund Stribling
Thomas Sigismund Stribling
(1933) Lamb in His Bosom
Lamb in His Bosom
by Caroline Pafford Miller
Caroline Pafford Miller
(1934) Now in November
Now in November
by Josephine Winslow Johnson (1935) Honey in the Horn
Honey in the Horn
by Harold L. Davis (1936) Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Margaret Mitchell
(1937) The Late George Apley
The Late George Apley
by John Phillips Marquand (1938) The Yearling
The Yearling
by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
(1939) The Grapes of Wrath
The Grapes of Wrath
by John Steinbeck
John Steinbeck
(1940) In This Our Life by Ellen Glasgow
Ellen Glasgow
(1942) Dragon's Teeth by Upton Sinclair
Upton Sinclair
(1943) Journey in the Dark
Journey in the Dark
by Martin Flavin (1944) A Bell for Adano by John Hersey
John Hersey
(1945) All the King's Men
All the King's Men
by Robert Penn Warren
Robert Penn Warren
(1947) Tales of the South Pacific
Tales of the South Pacific
by James A. Michener
James A. Michener
(1948) Guard of Honor
Guard of Honor
by James Gould Cozzens (1949) The Way West
The Way West
by A. B. Guthrie Jr. (1950)

1951–1975

The Town by Conrad Richter (1951) The Caine Mutiny
The Caine Mutiny
by Herman Wouk
Herman Wouk
(1952) The Old Man and the Sea
The Old Man and the Sea
by Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway
(1953) A Fable
A Fable
by William Faulkner
William Faulkner
(1955) Andersonville by MacKinlay Kantor
MacKinlay Kantor
(1956) A Death in the Family
A Death in the Family
by James Agee
James Agee
(1958) The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters
The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters
by Robert Lewis Taylor (1959) Advise and Consent
Advise and Consent
by Allen Drury
Allen Drury
(1960) To Kill a Mockingbird
To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee
Harper Lee
(1961) The Edge of Sadness
The Edge of Sadness
by Edwin O'Connor (1962) The Reivers
The Reivers
by William Faulkner
William Faulkner
(1963) The Keepers of the House
The Keepers of the House
by Shirley Ann Grau (1965) The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter
The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter
by Katherine Anne Porter (1966) The Fixer by Bernard Malamud
Bernard Malamud
(1967) The Confessions of Nat Turner
The Confessions of Nat Turner
by William Styron
William Styron
(1968) House Made of Dawn
House Made of Dawn
by N. Scott Momaday
N. Scott Momaday
(1969) The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford
The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford
by Jean Stafford
Jean Stafford
(1970) Angle of Repose
Angle of Repose
by Wallace Stegner
Wallace Stegner
(1972) The Optimist's Daughter
The Optimist's Daughter
by Eudora Welty
Eudora Welty
(1973) The Killer Angels
The Killer Angels
by Michael Shaara (1975)

1976–2000

Humboldt's Gift
Humboldt's Gift
by Saul Bellow
Saul Bellow
(1976) Elbow Room by James Alan McPherson
James Alan McPherson
(1978) The Stories of John Cheever
The Stories of John Cheever
by John Cheever
John Cheever
(1979) The Executioner's Song
The Executioner's Song
by Norman Mailer
Norman Mailer
(1980) A Confederacy of Dunces
A Confederacy of Dunces
by John Kennedy Toole
John Kennedy Toole
(1981) Rabbit Is Rich
Rabbit Is Rich
by John Updike
John Updike
(1982) The Color Purple
The Color Purple
by Alice Walker
Alice Walker
(1983) Ironweed by William Kennedy (1984) Foreign Affairs by Alison Lurie (1985) Lonesome Dove
Lonesome Dove
by Larry McMurtry
Larry McMurtry
(1986) A Summons to Memphis
A Summons to Memphis
by Peter Taylor (1987) Beloved by Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison
(1988) Breathing Lessons
Breathing Lessons
by Anne Tyler (1989) The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love
The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love
by Oscar Hijuelos (1990) Rabbit at Rest by John Updike
John Updike
(1991) A Thousand Acres
A Thousand Acres
by Jane Smiley
Jane Smiley
(1992) A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain
A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain
by Robert Olen Butler
Robert Olen Butler
(1993) The Shipping News
The Shipping News
by E. Annie Proulx
Annie Proulx
(1994) The Stone Diaries
The Stone Diaries
by Carol Shields (1995) Independence Day by Richard Ford
Richard Ford
(1996) Martin Dressler: The Tale of an American Dreamer by Steven Millhauser (1997) American Pastoral
American Pastoral
by Philip Roth
Philip Roth
(1998) The Hours by Michael Cunningham
Michael Cunningham
(1999) Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
Jhumpa Lahiri
(2000)

2001–present

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
Michael Chabon
(2001) Empire Falls
Empire Falls
by Richard Russo
Richard Russo
(2002) Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
Jeffrey Eugenides
(2003) The Known World
The Known World
by Edward P. Jones (2004) Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
Marilynne Robinson
(2005) March by Geraldine Brooks (2006) The Road
The Road
by Cormac McCarthy
Cormac McCarthy
(2007) The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
by Junot Díaz
Junot Díaz
(2008) Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
Elizabeth Strout
(2009) Tinkers by Paul Harding (2010) A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
Jennifer Egan
(2011) No award given (2012) The Orphan Master's Son
The Orphan Master's Son
by Adam Johnson (2013) The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (2014) All the Light We Cannot See
All the Light We Cannot See
by Anthony Doerr
Anthony Doerr
(2015) The Sympathizer
The Sympathizer
by Viet Thanh Nguyen
Viet Thanh Nguyen
(2016) The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Colson Whitehead
(2017)

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 29537282 LCCN: n79103776 ISNI: 0000 0000 8108 0647 GND: 119068664 SELIBR: 354353 SUDOC: 026998203 BNF: cb11913646r (data) BIBSYS: 90164774 BNE: XX1639108 SN

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