English Essays: I Know Why a Caged Bird Can't Read - Francine Prose

First, a word about Francine Prose. She is one of our more formidable and respectable literary citizens: past president of PEN American Center, member of the American Academy of Letters, author of 20 works of fiction and some notable nonfiction, including the wise volume "Reading Like a Writer," a stalwart supporter of her fellow writers and a generous critic (reviewed my first novel, in fact). And, in this spirit, she helpfully supplies readers of her new novel with an introductory letter outlining its background, evolution and historical coordinates.

Reading Like A Writer by Francine Prose; design by Dan Mogford (Union Books May 2012)

Francine Prose is the author of 15 books of fiction, including the novel Blue Angel, a finalist for the National Book Award. A recipient of numerous grants, awards and honours, including Guggenheim and Fulbright fellowships, she was a Director’s Fellow at the Centre of Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. She presents her most recent novel, , which captures contemporary America at its most hilarious and dreadful with mismatched aspirations, Albanian gangsters and the ever-elusive American dream.


Francine Prose Voting Democracy Off The Island Free Essays

Below is an essay on

From what I saw the plurality of students and faculty had been educated exclusively in the tradition of writers like William Gaddis, Francine Prose, or Alice Munro—and not at all in the traditions of Toni Morrison, Cherrie Moraga, Maxine Hong-Kingston, Arundhati Roy, Edwidge Danticat, Alice Walker, or Jamaica Kincaid. In my workshop the default subject position of reading and writing—of Literature with a capital L—was white, straight and male. This white straight male default was of course not biased in any way by its white straight maleness—no way! Race was the unfortunate condition of nonwhite people that had nothing to do with white people and as such was not a natural part of the Universal of Literature, and anyone that tried to introduce racial consciousness to the Great (White) Universal of Literature would be seen as politicizing the Pure Art and betraying the (White) Universal (no race) ideal of True Literature.


(R)evolution will explore our evolving creative narrative, celebrating the importance of igniting change and starting anew as writers, thinkers, women, and media makers. With a foreword by Francine Prose, New York Times best-selling author and professor at Bard College, and an introduction from Quiara Alegría Hudes, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright (and last year’s keynote speaker), we can’t wait to unveil it.Those are The Writing Life by Annie Dillard (from which this blog post takes its name — I was going to call it simply “My Writing Life,” but realized this is the third blog post I’ve written on that topic), Negotiating with the Dead: A Writer on Writing by Margaret Atwood, Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose, and Steering the Craft by Ursula Le Guin. The Writing Life looks a little wrinkled because I had already read it when I took that picture, and honestly, the only time I have to read for pleasure right now is at the end of the day, in the bubble bath I take each evening. The bubble bath is a necessity: it helps with the back problems I’ve had ever since, as an associate at a law firm, I was told to revise the same contract over and over again, twelve hours a day, for a week.The Observer has published many of the nation’s top journalists, critics and essayists over the years, including Joe Conason, John Heilpern, Rex Reed, Andrew Sarris, Robert Gottlieb, Simon Doonan, Ron Rosenbaum, Frank DiGiacomo, Jim Windolf, Michael Lewis, Francine Prose, Philip Weiss, Joe Nocera, Susan Faludi, James Cramer, Peter Bogdanovich, Warren St. John, Jason Gay, Nick Paumgarten, Alex Kuczynski, A.J. Jacobs and David Foster Wallace. In the mid-1990s, The Observer published “Sex and the City,” Candace Bushnell’s column on Manhattan’s social life, on which the hit television series was based.Reading Like a Writer, by Francine Prose. Cheers me up when writing just seems like a pointless exercise in rejection.Francine Prose, author of the acclaimed novel “Blue Angel” and the recent non-fiction work “Anne Frank: The Book, the Life, the Afterlife,” visited Wash. U. on Tuesday to receive the International Humanities Medal and speak in Graham Chapel.