Monday, November 06, 2017

Happy Birthday to Novelist Michael Cunningham

Michael Cunningham was born today, November 6, in1952. He is an novelist and screenwriter best known for his 1998 novel The Hours, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the PEN/Faulkner Award in 1999. Cunningham is a senior lecturer of creative writing at Yale University.

Cunningham was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and grew up in Pasadena, California. He studied English literature at Stanford University, where he earned his degree. Later, at the University of Iowa, he received a Michener Fellowship and was awarded a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. While studying at Iowa, he had short stories published in the Atlantic Monthly and the Paris Review. His short story "White Angel" was later used as a chapter in his novel A Home at the End of the World. It was included in The Best American Short Stories, 1989.

In 1993, Cunningham received a Guggenheim Fellowship and in 1988 a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. In 1995 he was awarded a Whiting Award. Cunningham has taught at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and in the creative writing M.F.A. program at Brooklyn College. He is a senior lecturer of creative writing at Yale University.

The Hours established Cunningham as a major force in U.S. writing, and his 2010 novel, By Nightfall, was also well received by U.S. critics. Cunningham edited a book of poetry and prose by Walt Whitman, Laws for Creations, and co-wrote, with Susan Minot, a screenplay adapted from Minot's novel Evening. He was a producer for the 2007 film Evening, starring Glenn Close, Toni Collette, and Meryl Streep.

Although Cunningham is gay, but he dislikes being referred to as a gay writer, according to a PlanetOut article. While he often writes about gay people, he does not "want the gay aspects of [his] books to be perceived as their single, primary characteristic."

1984 Golden States
1990 A Home at the End of the World
1995 Flesh and Blood
1998 The Hours
2005 Specimen Days
2010 By Nightfall
2014 The Snow Queen

Short story collections
2015 A Wild Swan and Other Tales

2002 Land's End: A Walk in Provincetown

2004 A Home at the End of the World
2007 Evening


1 comment:

Raybeard said...

I thought 'The Hours' was an astonishing novel - a revelatory read. The film, in it's different, yet faithful, way was most remarkable too, one of my very favourite films since 2000. I really must read some more of his.