Charles Ruas

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Charles Ruas is an American author, particularly known for his work as an interviewer, literary and art critic, and translator.[1]


Born in Tianjin, China, Ruas was a graduate of Princeton University (BA 1960, MA 1963, PhD 1970) and was a Fulbright Scholar at the Sorbonne (1963–64).[2] He is a specialist in French, English, and Comparative Literature, which he has taught at universities in the United States, France, and China.

Ruas was for a time in the late 1970s Director of the Drama and Literature Department of WBAI, where he initiated separate coverage of all the arts.[3] Within this programming Susan Howe produced her own series and specials on poetry. Other programming initiated by Ruas at WBAI included the Audio-Experimental Theatre, for which multi-media performers, including poets, playwrights, video artists, and dancers were invited to create a work for radio broadcast. Performers included Meredith Monk, Vito Acconci, John Cage, Philip Glass, Joan Jonas, Yvonne Rainer, Ed Bowes, Robert Wilson, Richard Foreman, and Helen Adam.

Ruas also produced The Reading Experiment, a year-long series of readings from Marguerite Young's novel Miss MacIntosh, My Darling. The programs were scored by Rob Wynne with a collage of music and concrete sound effects. The readers came from a wide variety of artistic backgrounds and included Anaïs Nin, Marian Seldes, Novella Nelson, Leo Lerman, Owen Dodson, Wyatt Cooper, Anne Fremantle, and Ruth Ford, among others.

He has also produced arts and literature programming for PS1.

A literary critic for the Soho Weekly News until 1982, Ruas has been a frequent contributor to ArtNews and Art in America.[2]

For his work in furthering literature and the arts and for his translation from the French, in 2012 Ruas was named Chevalier (Knight) of the Order of Arts and Letters by the government of France.

Ruas currently lives and works in New York City.


  • The Intellectual Development of the Duc de Saint Simon - Charles Ruas. Princeton University, 1970.
  • Conversations with American Writers – Charles Ruas. Knopf, 1985, ISBN 978-0-394-52787-1
  • Death and the Labyrinth – Michel Foucault. John Ashbery (Introduction), Charles Ruas (Translator). Doubleday, 1986, ISBN 978-0-385-27854-6 / Continuum, 2007, ISBN 978-0-8264-9362-0
  • An Artful Life: The Biography of D.H. Kahnweiler – Pierre Assouline. Charles Ruas (Translator). Grove/Atlantic, 1990, ISBN 978-0-8021-1227-9
  • Harp Song for a Radical: The Life and Times of Eugene Victor Debs – Marguerite Young. Charles Ruas (Editor). Knopf, 1999, ISBN 978-0-679-42757-5
  • Grace: An American Woman in China, 1934–1974 – Eleanor McCallie Cooper, William Liu. Charles Ruas (Introduction). Soho Press, 2003, ISBN 978-1-56947-350-4
  • Hergé: The Man Who Created Tintin—Pierre Assouline. Charles Ruas (Translator). Oxford University Press, 2009, ISBN 978-0-19-539759-8
  • Vera Gran: The Accused - Agata Tuszynska. Charles Ruas (Translator). Knopf, 2013, ISBN 978-0-307-26912-6
  • Portrait of a Family in Fear - Agata Tuszynska. Charles Ruas (Translator). Forthcoming. Knopf, 2013.
  • "New Directions: An Interview with James Laughlin," with Susan Howe; "The Struggle Against Censorship: with Maurice Girodias, William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Carl Solomon, and James Grauerholtz." In The Art of Literary Publishing: Editors and Their Craft, edited by Bill Henderson. Pushcart Press, 1980, ISBN 0-916366-05-7
  • "Carlos Fuentes: An Interview," with Alfred MacAdam. Writers at Work, Sixth Series, edited by George Plimpton. The Viking Press, 1984, ISBN 0-670-79099-0
  • "China's Other Cultural Revolution: History and Chinese Art." Art in America, 9/1/98.


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