Francine Prose

New York Times Bestselling Author
Fiction, Nonfiction, Criticism
National Book Award Finalist

Readings &
Lecture Topics
  • Reading Like A Writer
  • Anne Frank’s Theatrical Afterlife
  • Feminism in Fiction
  • Writing About Art
  • An Evening with Francine Prose

Biography

“Francine Prose is a keen observer, and her fiction is full of wryly delivered truths and sardonic witticisms that come from paying close attention to the world.” —The Atlantic

“Francine Prose has a knack for getting to the heart of human nature.” —USA Today

“Prose is the Meryl Streep of literary fiction, convincingly shifting between multiple voices and points of view-not just from book to book, but within a single work.” —NPR

Hailed by Larry McMurtry as “One of our finest writers,” Francine Prose is the author of numerous novels. Her most recent, The Vixen (2021), was praised by Amy Bloom in The New York Times: “The gift of Prose’s work to a reader is to create for us what she creates for her protagonist here: the subtle unfolding, the moment-by-moment process of discovery as we read and change, from not knowing and even not wanting to know or care, to seeing what we had not seen and finding our way to the light of the ending.” Her other novels include Mister Monkey (2016); Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 (2014), a NY Times Notable Book of 2014 and one of NPR’s Best Books of 2014; My New American Life (2011), a “satirical immigrant story that subtly embodies the cultural complexity and political horrors of the Balkans and Bush-Cheney America (Donna Seaman)”; Goldengrove (2008), a profoundly moving novel about a young girl plunged into adult grief and obsession after the drowning death of her sister; A Changed Man (2005), for which she won the first Dayton Literary Peace Prize in fiction; and Blue Angel (2000), a finalist for the 2000 National Book Award which was recreated in the film adaptation Submission in 2018.

Prose’s nonfiction books include, Peggy Guggenheim: The Shock of the Modern (Yale University Press, 2015); Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife (HarperCollins, 2009); Reading Like A Writer (2006), a New York Times bestseller; The Lives of the Muses: Nine Women & the Artists They Inspired, a national bestseller; Caravaggio: Painter of Miracles, a biography of the painter for the Eminent Lives series; Sicilian Odyssey, a travel book; and; Gluttony, a meditation on a deadly sin. Her award-winning young adult novels include Bullyville and After. She is also the author of Hunters and Gatherers; Bigfoot Dreams and Primitive People; two story collections; and a collection of novellas, Guided Tours of Hell. Prose has also written four children’s books and co-translated three volumes of fiction. Her stories, reviews, and essays have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, Best American Short Stories, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The New York Observer, Art News, The Yale Review, The New Republic, and numerous other publications.

A fellow of the New York Institute for the Humanities and a 1999 Director’s Fellow of the New York Public Library’s Center for Scholars and Writers, Prose is a contributing editor of Harper’s Magazine, for which she has written such controversial essays as “Scent of A Woman’s Ink” and “I Know Why the Caged Bird Can’t Read.” She is a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books and a Distinguished Visiting Writer at Bard.

In 2010, Prose was awarded the prestigious Washington University International Humanities Medal. Awarded biennially, the medal honors the lifetime work of a noted scholar, writer, or artist who has made a significant and sustained contribution to the world of letters or the arts. She has also been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a 1989 Fulbright fellowship to the former Yugoslavia, two NEA grants, and a PEN translation prize.

Prose has taught at Harvard, Sarah Lawrence, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, The University of Arizona, The University of Utah, the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers Conferences. She currently teaches at Bard College. A film of her novel, Household Saints, was released in 1993. In 2009, Prose was elected into the Academy of Arts & Letters. She lives in New York City.

Short Bio

Francine Prose is the author of numerous novels, including The Vixen; Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932; My New American Life; Goldengrove; A Changed Man; and Blue Angel. Prose’s nonfiction books include Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife; Reading Like A Writer, a New York Times bestseller; The Lives of the Muses: Nine Women & the Artists They Inspired; Caravaggio: Painter of Miracles; Sicilian Odyssey, a travel book; and; Gluttony. Her stories, reviews, and essays have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, Best American Short Stories, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The New York Observer, Art News, The Yale Review, The New Republic, and numerous other publications.

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