|Born||1961 (age 52–53)
|Alma mater||Hobart and William Smith Colleges|
|Notable works||The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing|
|Notable awards||Nelson Algren Award, 1993; Bestseller List (UK); Bestseller List (US)|
Melissa Bank (born in 1961 in Philadelphia) is an American author. She has published two books, The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing, a volume of short stories, and The Wonder Spot," a novel, which have been translated into over thirty languages. Bank was the winner of the 1993 Nelson Algren Award for short fiction. She currently teaches in the MFA program at Stony Brook Southampton.
Bank was born in Philadelphia; her father, a neurologist, died of leukemia in his late 50s. Bank attended Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and has an MFA from Cornell University. Bank's literary influences include Vladimir Nabokov, John Cheever, Billy Collins, and Grace Paley; her favorite nonfiction writer is Janet Malcolm.
The Girls' Guide to Hunting And Fishing
The Girls' Guide to Hunting And Fishing took Bank twelve years to write. Most of that time Bank worked as a copywriter, focusing on the novel in her spare time. About five years before the book was published, Bank was involved in a serious bicycle accident where she was struck by a car. She landed on her head, and even though she was wearing a helmet, she suffered post-concussion syndrome for almost two years. This condition affected her short-term memory and deprived her of the "top 10 to 15% of [her] vocabulary"; she was unable to order information or perform sequential thinking. Bank had to stop writing the book during this period.
Finally published in 1999, The Girls' Guide to Hunting And Fishing was a bestseller in both the United States and the United Kingdom, garnering mostly positive reviews. The Los Angeles Times wrote, "Bank writes like John Cheever, but funnier." Newsweek critic Yahlin Chang wrote, "Bank draws exquisite portraits of loneliness, and she can do it in a sentence." Others placed Bank in the school of restraint exemplified by Hemingway and Raymond Carver.
Bank has published short stories and nonfiction in such publications as the Chicago Tribune, Ploughshares, Zoetrope, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, and Seventeen, as well as been broadcast on National Public Radio and the BBC.
- The Wonder Spot - 2005
- "Run run run run run run run away" (short story) - 2005
- "The Worst Thing a Suburban Girl Could Imagine" (short story) - 1999
- The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing - 1999
- "A Polished Act (Interview)," The Guardian (July 19, 1999).
- "Melissa Bank," Red Room. Accessed March 31, 2011.
- Julie V. Iovine (1999-07-22). "AT HOME WITH: MELISSA BANK; So Familiar, So Private". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-05-06.
- "The Best Books of 1999: The Best Fiction of 1999", Los Angeles Times (Dec. 5, 1999).
- Chang, Yahlin. "A Hot Young Writer You Can Bank On," Newsweek (May 31, 1999).