April 19, 1943
Canton, New York
|Occupation||Novelist, poet, illustrator|
|Alma mater||Bard College|
|Literary movement||Surrealism, postmodernism|
|Spouse||Guy Ducornet; Jonathan Cohen|
Ducornet's father was a professor of sociology, and her mother hosted community-interest programs on radio and television. Ducornet grew up on the campus of Bard College in New York, earning a B.A. in Fine Arts from the same institution in 1964. While at Bard she met Robert Coover and Robert Kelly, two authors who shared Ducornet's fascination with metamorphosis and provided early models of how fiction might express this interest. In 1972 she moved to the Loire Valley in France with her then husband, Guy Ducornet. In 1988 she won a Bunting Institute fellowship at Radcliffe. In 1989 she moved back to North America after accepting a teaching position in the English Department at The University of Denver. In 2007, she replaced retired Dr. Ernest Gaines as Writer in Residence at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. In 2008, The American Academy of Arts and Letters conferred upon her one of the eight annual Academy Awards presented to writers.
In the March 24, 2006 issue of Entertainment Weekly, in an article titled "Back To Annandale", it was postulated that Ducornet was the apparent inspiration for the 1974 Steely Dan hit "Rikki Don't Lose That Number", because of a friendship songwriter Donald Fagen had with Ducornet while he attended Bard. Ducornet was pregnant and married at the time, but recalls Fagen did give her his phone number at a college party while attending Bard. Although Fagen himself would not confirm the story, Ducornet was quoted that she believed she was indeed the subject of the song.
- The Stain Chatto & Windus, London (1984); Grove Press, New York (1984); revised edition Dalkey Archive Press, Normal IL (1995)
- Entering Fire Chatto & Windus, London (1986); City Lights, San Francisco (1986)
- The Fountains of Neptune McClelland & Steward, Toronto (1989); Dalkey Archive Press, Normal, Illinois (1992)
- The Jade Cabinet Dalkey Archive Press, Normal, Illinois (1993)
- Phosphor in Dreamland Dalkey Archive Press, Normal, Illinois (1995)
- The Fan-Maker's Inquisition Henry Holt, New York (1999)
- Gazelle Alfred A. Knopf, New York (2003)
- Netsuke: a novel Coffee House Press, Minneapolis (2011)
- Short fiction collections
- The Butcher's Tales (1980)
- The Complete Butcher's Tales (1994)
- The Word 'Desire' (1997)
- The One Marvelous Thing (2008)
- From The Star Chamber (as "Rikki") Fiddlehead Poetry Books, Fredericton NB (1974)
- Wild Geraniums Actual Size Press, London (1975)
- Bouche a Bouche by Guy Ducornet & Rikki, Soror, Paris (1975)
- Weird Sisters (as "Rikki") Intermedia, Vancouver (1976)
- Knife Notebook (as "Rikki") Fiddlehead Poetry Books, Vancouver (1977)
- The Illustrated Universe (as "Rikki") Aya Press, Toronto (1979)
- The Cult of Seizure The Porcupine's Quill, Erin, Ontario (1989)
- The Monstrous and the Marvelous City Lights, San Francisco (1999)
- Anthologies edited
- Shoes & Shit: Stories for Pedestrians edited by Geoff Hancock & Rikki Ducornet, Aya Press, Toronto (1984)
- Children's books
- The Blue Bird Adaptation of Mme. D'Aulnoy's old French fairy tale, Alfred A. Knopf, New York (1970)
- Shazira Shazam and the Devil by Rikki and Guy Ducornet, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey (1972)
- Robert Coover Spanking the Maid (1981)
- Jorge Luis Borges Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius (1983)
- Karen Elizabeth Gordon, Torn Wings and Faux Pas (1997)
- 1943 is the year of birth given by the Library of Congress and in the author's biography on some early novels, such as The Fountains of Neptune (McClelland & Stewart, 1989).
- Gregory, Sindra. "Finding a Language: Introducing Rikki Ducornet" The Review of Contemporary Fiction Fall 1998.
- The origins of Steely Dan | Donald Fagen | Pop Culture News | News | Entertainment Weekly See also Steven Moore's interview with Ducornet in the Bloomsbury Review (January/February 1998), which concludes with Ducornet's account of the song: "I knew Donald Fagan at Bard. He was wildly gifted. He gave me a phone number which I never used and I guess I lost! Philosophically it's an interesting song; I mean I think his 'number' is a cipher for the self" (p. 12).