Melodia E. Jones Distinguished Professor
Born in France (1928), I am a bilingual writer. I emigrated to the U.S. in 1947. After serving in the U.S. Army in Korea and Japan (1951-54), I studied at Columbia University under the G.I. Bill (B.A., Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 1957); graduate studies at U.C.L.A. (M.A., 1958, Ph.D. in French Literature, 1963 -- Doctoral Dissertation on Samuel Beckett). 1959 to 1964, I taught at the University of California at Santa Barbara, and since 1964 at The State University of New York at Buffalo, in the French Department until 1973, and as of 1973 as a fiction writer, critic, and scholar in the English Department and Comparative Literature Program. I was a Visiting Professor at the University of Montreal (1970-71), at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem (1982-83), and at University of California at San Diego (Spring 1986). In 1990, I was promoted to the rank of Suny Distinguished Professor, and in 1994, I was appointed to the Melodia E. Jones Chair of Literature.
Though I have published four volumes of poems: Among the Beasts (1967), Me Too (1975), Duel/Duel (1991), Now Then (1992), several books of criticism, and numerous essays and articles, I consider myself primarily a fiction writer.
To date I have published eight novels: Double or Nothing (Swallow Press, 1971, winner of the Frances Steloff Fiction Prize and The Panache Experimental Fiction Prize), Amer Eldorado (written in French, Editions Stock, Paris, 1974, nominated for Le Prix M E9dicis), Take It or Leave It (Fiction Collective, 1976), The Voice in the Closet (Coda Press, 1979), The Twofold Vibration (Indiana University Press & Harvester Press Ltd., 1982), Smiles on Washington Square (Thunder's Mouth Press, 1985, winner of The American Book Award), To Whom It May Concern (The Fiction Collective Two, 1990); La Fourrure de ma Tante Rachel (written in French, Editions Circ E9 , Paris, 1996). My novels have been translated into German, Italian, French, Hungarian, Polish, Serbian, Rumanian, Hebrew, Dutch, Greek, Japanese, and Chinese.
My fiction, poetry, and translations have appeared in many literary magazines both in the U.S. and abroad, including Partisan Review, Paris Review, Chicago Review, Fiction International, North American Review, Mississippi Review , Formation, Caliban, The New Boston Review, Virginia Quarterly, Tri-Quarterly, The Iowa Review, The Denver Quarterly, Black Ice, TXT, and others.
In 1966, I was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship; in 1977, I was a fellow in residence at the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France; in 1982-83, I received a Fulbright Fellowship to Israel as Writer-in-Residence at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem; I was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in fiction in 1985, and a New York State Foundation for the Arts Fellowship for fiction in 1986; in 1989-1990, I was invited by DAAD (The Berlin Artist Program) to spend a year in Berlin as Writer-in-Residence. During that year, DAAD published in a bilingual edition a collection of experimental poetry and prose entitled Playtexts/Spieltexte, and The Stopover Press in Berlin published Duel/Duel, a trilingual volume of recent poems. In 1995, I was awarded Les Palmes Acad E9miqes by the French government.
From 1973 to 1976, I was a member of the Board of Directors of The Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines; 1979-82, I served as Co-Director of The Fiction Collective, and I am currently on the Board of Directors of The Fiction Collective Two; 1978-1981, I served on the Literature Panel of the New York Council on the Arts, and from 1980 to 1983, on the Board of Hallwalls. I also served as a judge for fiction for CAPS in 1980, for the Massachusetts Arts Council in 1984, and the Wisconsin Arts Council in 1988, and as a judge for fiction for the New York State Foundation for the Arts in 1986-87. In 1995, I was a judge for the American Awards for Literature.
Since 1977, I have lectured for U.S.I.A. in Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Austria, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Israel, Egypt, Pakistan, India, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Japan, Turkey.
Several books and numerous articles have been written about my work, and four doctoral dissertations.
I am listed in Who's Who in America, Contemporary Fiction Writers, Directory of American Poets & Fiction Writers, World Authors, Dictionary of Literary Biography, Contemporary Authors Autobiographies, Contemporary Novelists, and several others.
Finished [still unpublished]:
The Twilight of the Bums [Microfictions], with George Chambers
The Precipice [a non-directional play in one moment]
Further Concentration [poems]
366: Fragments of Writing