This biographical article is written like a résumé. (November 2021)
The son of Albina Bisson and Aniclet Plante, Plante is of both French-Canadian and North American Indian descent. He graduated from Boston College and the Université catholique de Louvain. He taught creative writing at Columbia University before retiring. His diary is kept in the Berg Collection of the New York Public Library. His papers are kept in the library of The University of Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Plante has been published extensively including in The New Yorker and The Paris Review and various literary magazines. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Among his other honours are: Henfield Fellow, University of East Anglia, 1975; British Arts Council Grant, 1977; Guggenheim Fellowship, 1983; American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Award, 1983.
He is an Ambassador for the LGBT Committee of the New York Public Library. His novels examine the spiritual in a variety of contexts, but notably in the milieu of large, working-class, Catholic families of French Canadian background. His male characters range from openly gay to sexually ambiguous and questioning.
He has been a writer-in-residence at Maxim Gorky Literature Institute (Moscow), the Université du Québec à Montréal, Adelphi University, King's College, the University of Cambridge, the University of Tulsa, and the University of East Anglia. Plante’s work, for which he has been nominated for the National Book Award, includes Difficult Women (1983), a memoir of his relationships with Jean Rhys, Sonia Orwell, and Germaine Greer and the widely praised Francoeur Trilogy--The Family (1978), The Country (1980) and The Woods (1982). His most recent book is a memoir of Nikos Stangos, his partner of forty years, The Pure Lover (2009). The papers of Nikos Stangos (1936-2004), are in The Princeton University Library, the Program in Hellenic Studies. Plante lives in London, Lucca Italy, and Athens Greece. He has dual citizenship, American and British.
- The Ghost of Henry James (1970)
- Slides (novel) (1971)
- Relatives (novel) (1972)
- The Darkness of the Body (1974)
- Figures in Bright Air (1976)
- The Family (1978)
- The Country (1980)
- The Woods (1982)
- Difficult Women (1983)
- The Foreigner (1984)
- The Catholic (1986)
- My Mother's Pearl Necklace (1987)
- The Native (1987)
- The Accident (1991)
- Annunciation (1994)
- Prayer (1998)
- The Age of Terror (1999)
- American Ghosts (2005)
- ABC (2007)
- The Pure Lover (2009)
- Becoming a Londoner : a diary (2013)
- Worlds Apart: a memoir (2015)