Jonis Agee

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Jonis Agee
Born (1943-05-31)31 May 1943
Omaha, Nebraska
Occupation Novelist, Short Story Writer, Screenwriter, Essayist, Teacher
Spouse Brent Spencer
Children Brenda and Nora

Jonis Agee (born 31 May 1943 in Omaha, Nebraska) is a writer of short stories, novels, essays, and screenplays. She is the author of thirteen books, including five novels and five collections of short fiction. Three of her books have been New York Times Notable Books.


Fiction writer, essayist, and screenwriter Jonis Agee was born in Omaha, Nebraska,[1] and grew up in Nebraska and Missouri, places where many of her stories and novels are set. In addition, she lived for many years in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she taught at The College of St. Catherine. She has also taught at the University of Michigan, and the University of Nebraska. Educated at The University of Iowa (BA) and The State University of New York at Binghamton (MA, PhD), she is the Adele Hall Professor of English at The University of Nebraska — Lincoln, where she teaches creative writing and twentieth-century fiction.

Her most recent novel, The River Wife (Random House, 2007) is about five generations of women who experience love and heartbreak, passion and deceit against the backdrop of the nineteenth-century South. The book was selected by the Book of the Month Club, the Literary Guild, and as a main selection by the Quality Paperback Book Club.

She lives on an acreage[2] north of Omaha, Nebraska, along the Missouri River, with her husband, writer Brent Spencer.


  • Sweet Eyes (1991)
  • Strange Angels (1993)
  • South of Resurrection (1998)
  • The Weight of Dreams (2000)
  • The River Wife (2007)

Short story collections[edit]

  • Pretend We've Never Met (1989)
  • Bend This Heart (1989)
  • A .38 Special and a Broken Heart (1995)
  • Taking the Wall (1999)
  • Acts of Love on Indigo Road (2003)


  • Full Throttle (2007)


  • Stiller's Pond (1996)


  • Minnesota State Arts Board Award in Fiction, 1977
  • National Endowment for the Arts grant in fiction, 1978
  • Bush Grant for Faculty Development in Creative Writing, 1983
  • Loft-McKnight Award in Fiction, 1989
  • Notable Book of the Year for Bend This Heart, New York Times, 1989
  • Loft-McKnight Award of Distinction, 1991
  • Notable Book of the Year for Sweet Eyes, New York Times, 1991
  • Notable Book of the Year for Strange Angels, New York Times, 1993
  • ForeWord Magazine's Editor's Choice Award for Taking the Wall, 2000
  • Nebraska Book Award for The Weight of Dreams, 2000
  • Nebraska Book Award Acts of Love on Indigo Road, 2004
  • ForeWord Magazine's Gold Medal in Fiction for Acts of Love on Indigo Road, 2004
  • John Gardner Fiction Award for The River Wife, Binghamton University, 2008
  • Distinguished Artist Award in Fiction, Nebraska Arts Council, 2009
  • Backwaters Press Publication Award, Nebraska Arts Council, 2009
  • Mark Twain Award for Distinguished Contribution to Midwestern Literature, The Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature, 2009
  • George Garrett Award, Association of Writers and Writing Programs, 2010[3]
  • Outstanding Research and Creativity Award (ORCA), University of Nebraska, 2010[4]


  1. ^ Contemporary Authors Online, Gale Literary Database, 2008 "[1]"
  2. ^ Video profile of Jonis Agee, University of Nebraska "[2]"
  3. ^ “Congratulations Jonis Agee, winner of the 2010 AWP George Garrett Award!” University of Nebraska Press Blog, April 13, 2010. "[3]"
  4. ^ “UNL’s Agee, Zeng Win ORCA Award,” April 7, 2010 "[4]"

University of Nebraska-Lincoln faculty description of Agee==External links==