Cunningham in New York, 2007
November 6, 1952 |
Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Michael Cunningham (born November 6, 1952) is an American writer. He is best known for his 1998 novel The Hours, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the PEN/Faulkner Award in 1999. Cunningham is a senior lecturer of creative writing at Yale University.
Early life and education
Cunningham was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and grew up in Pasadena, California. He studied English literature at Stanford University where he earned his degree. Later, at the University of Iowa, he received a Michener Fellowship and was awarded a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. While studying at Iowa, he had short stories published in the Atlantic Monthly and the Paris Review. His short story, "White Angel", was later used as a chapter in his novel A Home at the End of the World. It was included in "The Best American Short Stories, 1989", published by Houghton Mifflin.
In 1993, Cunningham received a Guggenheim Fellowship and in 1998 a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. In 1995 he was awarded the Whiting Writers' Award. Cunningham has taught at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and in the creative writing M.F.A. program at Brooklyn College. He is a senior lecturer of creative writing at Yale University.
The Hours established Cunningham as a major force in American writing, and his 2010 novel, By Nightfall, was also well received by American critics. Cunningham edited a book of poetry and prose by Walt Whitman, Laws for Creations, and co-wrote, with Susan Minot, a screenplay adapted from Minot's novel Evening. He was a producer for the 2007 film, Evening, starring Glenn Close, Toni Collette, and Meryl Streep.
Although Cunningham is gay and was in a long-term domestic partnership with psychoanalyst Ken Corbett, he dislikes being referred to as a gay writer, according to a PlanetOut article. While he often writes about gay people, he does not "want the gay aspects of [his] books to be perceived as their single, primary characteristic."
- 1984 Golden States
- 1990 A Home at the End of the World
- 1995 Flesh and Blood
- 1998 The Hours
- 2005 Specimen Days
- 2010 By Nightfall
- 2014 The Snow Queen
- 2002 Land's End: A Walk in Provincetown
- 2000 Drawn By The Sea (exhibition catalogue text; 110 signed copies)
- 2001 The Voyage Out by Virginia Woolf (Modern Library Classics edition) (Introduction)
- 2001 I Am Not This Body: The Pinhole Photographs of Barbara Ess (Text)
- 2004 Washington Square by Henry James (Signet Classics edition) (Afterword)
- 2004 Death In Venice by Thomas Mann (new translation by Michael Henry Heim) (Introduction)
- 2006 Laws for Creations, Poems by Walt Whitman (Editor and introduction)
- 2007 a Memory, a Monologue, a Rant, and a Prayer edited by Eve Ensler and Mollie Doyle (Short Story, The Destruction Artist)
- 2010 "My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: Forty New Fairy Tales" (short Story "The Wild Swans")
Awards and achievements
- "White Angel" was included in the 1989 Best American Short Stories.
- "Mister Brother" was included in the 1999 O. Henry Prize Stories.
For The Hours, Cunningham was awarded the:
- Pulitzer Prize for Fiction - 1999
- PEN/Faulkner Award - 1999
- Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Book Award - 1999
- "Meet the Writers: Michael Cunningham". barnesandnoble.com. Barnes & Noble. c. 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-26.
- metacritic entry on "Specimen Days"[dead link]
- NPR Three Minute Fiction
- Leland, John (October 24, 2002). "At Home With: Michael Cunningham; This Is the House The Book Bought". The New York Times. Retrieved September 7, 2013.
- PlanetOut Entertainment[dead link]
- Moore, Chadwick (September 30, 2010). "Catching Up with Michael Cunningham". Out. Retrieved September 7, 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Michael Cunningham.|
- Michael Cunningham's website
- Michael Cunningham at the Internet Movie Database
- 2004 article by Randy Shulman from Metro Weekly
- Yale University English Department faculty profile
- Audio: Michael Cunningham in conversation with Margaret Atwood at the Key West Literary Seminar, 2007