Darryl Pinckney

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Darryl Pinckney
Born1953 (age 67–68)
Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Alma materColumbia University
GenreNovelist, playwright
Notable worksHigh Cotton (1992)
Notable awardsWhiting Award (1986); Vursell Award for Distinguished Prose from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1994)

Darryl Pinckney (born 1953 in Indianapolis, Indiana) is an American novelist, playwright, and essayist.

Early life[edit]

Pinckney grew up in a middle-class African-American family in Indianapolis, Indiana, where he attended local public schools. He was educated at Columbia University in New York City.[1]


Some of Pinckney's first professional works were theatre texts, plays developed in collaboration with director Robert Wilson. These included the produced works of The Forest (1988) and Orlando (1989). Pinckney returned to theatre with Time Rocker (1995).

His first novel was High Cotton (1992), a semi-autobiographical novel about "growing up black and bourgeois" in 1960s America. His second novel was Black Deutschland (2016), about a young gay black man in Berlin in the late 1980s, just before the fall of the Berlin Wall. Pinckney is also a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books, Granta, Slate, and The Nation. He frequently explores issues of racial and sexual identities, as expressed in literature.

In the 21st century, Pinckney has published two collections of essays on African-American literature. He has expressed his admiration for the writing of the long-running American CBS soap opera, As the World Turns.[2]


Personal life[edit]

He is gay.[6] His partner is English poet James Fenton; the couple has been together since 1989.[7] Pinckney lives in New York City and Oxfordshire, England.[8]




  • "England, Whose England?". Granta (16: Science). Summer 1985. (Subscription Required)
  • "Lonely Hearts Club". Harper's. February 2010.
  • "The Ethics of Admiration: Arendt, McCarthy, Hardwick, Sontag". The Threepenny Review. 135. Fall 2013.
  • "Some Different Ways of Looking at Selma". The New York Review of Books. 19 February 2015.

Theatre texts[edit]


External links[edit]