ANITA LOOS: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Hilton Obenzinger writes fiction, poetry, history and criticism. He has most recently published the autobiographical novel Busy Dying. His other books include a*hole, an experimental novel of children, art, and the cosmos; Running Through Fire: How I Survived the Holocaust by Zosia Goldberg as told to Hilton Obenzinger, an oral history of his aunt’s ordeal during the war; American Palestine: Melville, Twain and the Holy Land Mania, a literary and historical study of America’s fascination with the Holy Land; Cannibal Eliot and the Lost Histories of San Francisco, a novel of invented documents that recounts the history of San Francisco from the Spanish conquest to the 1906 earthquake and fire; New York on Fire, a history of the fires of New York in verse, selected by the Village Voice as one of the best books of the year and nominated by the Bay Area Book Reviewer’s Association for its award in poetry; This Passover Or The Next I Will Never Be in Jerusalem, which received the American Book Award of the Before Columbus Foundation. He has also contributed articles to journals and edited collections on Mark Twain, Herman Melville, American travel to the Holy Land/Palestine/Israel, and other literary and cultural topics. Born in 1947 in Brooklyn, raised in Queens, and graduating Columbia University in 1969, he has taught on the Yurok Indian Reservation, operated a community printing press in San Francisco’s Mission District, co-edited a publication devoted to Middle East peace, worked as a commercial writer and instructional designer. He received his doctorate in the Modern Thought and Literature Program at Stanford University in 1997. He is Associate Director for Honors and Advanced Writing, the Hume Writing Center.
Mark McGurl‘s scholarly work centers on the relation of literature to social, educational and other institutions from the late 19th century to the present. He is the author of The Program Era: Postwar Fiction and the Rise of Creative Writing (Harvard), which was the recipient of the Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism for 2011.
McGurl’s previous book was The Novel Art: Elevations of American Fiction after Henry James (Princeton). He has also published articles in journals such as Critical Inquiry, Representations, American Literary History, and New Literary History. He teaches a range of classes on American literature and related topics.
McGurl received his BA from Harvard, then worked at the New York Times and the New York Review of Books before earning his PhD in comparative literature from Johns Hopkins. He has held fellowships from Office of the President of the University of California and the Stanford Humanities Center.
Claire Jarvis studies Victorian literature with emphasis on the novel and theories of sexuality. Her current project is titled Making Scenes: Supersensual Masochism and Victorian Literature, and examines the relationship between masochism and companionate marriage in novels by Emily Brontë, Anthony Trollope, and Thomas Hardy, and in representations of Queen Victoria.
Her other research interests include sensation fiction, New Woman novels, the long Victorian poem, nineteenth-century material culture, Henry James and Barbara Pym.
JANET LEWIS: The Return of Martin Guerre
Kenneth Fields’ collections of poetry are The Other Walker, Sunbelly, Smoke, The Odysseus Manuscripts, and Anemographia: A Treatise on the Wind. He has completed the manuscripts of two other collections: Classic Rough News and Music from Another Room. His current projects are a novel, Father of Mercies, and a collection of essays on Mina Loy, H.D., Yvor Winters, Janet Lewis, J.V. Cunningham, Anne Bradstreet, Emily Dickinson, Ben Jonson, Wallace Stevens, Jorge Luis Borges, Henri Coulette, and others. Fields teaches the Advanced Poetry Writing Workshop for the Stanford Writing Fellows. He is developing a two-part course in American film, Men in the Movies: Film Noir and the Western. He delivered the Russel B. Nye Lecture at Michigan State University’s American Studies Program: “There Stands the Glass: Voices of Alcohol in Country Music.”
Eavan Boland is Irish. She has been writer in residence at Trinity College and University College Dublin. She was poet in residence at the National Maternity Hospital during its 1994 Centenary. She has also been the Hurst Professor at Washington University and Regent’s Lecturer at the University of California at Santa Barbara. She is on the board of the Irish Arts Council and a member of the Irish Academy of Letters. She is on the advisory board of the International Writers Center at Washington University. She has published ten volumes of poetry, the most recent being New Collected Poems (2008) and Domestic Violence (2007) and An Origin Like Water: Collected Poems 1967-87 (1996) with W.W. Norton. She has received the Lannan Award for Poetry and an American Ireland Fund Literary Award. She has published a volume of prose called Object Lessons: The Life of the Woman and the Poet in Our Time.
Tobias Wolff’s books include the memoirs This Boy’s Life and In Pharaoh’s Army: Memories of the Lost War; the short novel The Barracks Thief; the novel Old School, and four collections of short stories, In the Garden of the North American Martyrs, Back in the World, The Night in Question, and, most recently, Our Story Begins: New and Selected Stories. He has also edited several anthologies, among them Best American Short Stories 1994, A Doctor’s Visit: The Short Stories of Anton Chekhov, and The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories. His work is translated widely and has received numerous awards, including the PEN/Faulkner Award, The Los Angeles Times Book Prize, both the PEN/Malamud and the Rea Award for Excellence in the Short Story, the Story Prize, and the Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is the Ward W. and Priscilla B. Woods Professor of English at Stanford.