Francine du Plessix Gray
|Francine du Plessix Gray|
September 25, 1930 |
|Residence||Cornwall Bridge, Connecticut
|Education||Bryn Mawr College 1948-50
Black Mountain College summers 1951-52
Barnard College B.A. 1952
|Political party||Democratic party (United States)|
|Children||Thaddeus Ives Gray
Luke Alexander Gray
|Parent(s)||Bertrand Jochaud du Plessix
Tatiana Yakovleva du Plessix Liberman
Alexander Liberman stepfather
Francine du Plessix Gray is an American Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer and literary critic.
Early life, family background, and education
She was born on September 25, 1930, in Warsaw, Poland, where her father, Vicomte Bertrand Jochaud du Plessix, was a French diplomat – the commercial attaché. She spent her early years in Paris, where a milieu of mixed cultures and a multilingual family (French father and Russian mother) influenced her. Her father, then a sub-lieutenant in the Free French Air Force died in 1940, shot down near Gibraltar.
Her mother, Tatiana Iacovleff du Plessix, (1906–1991) had come to France as a refugee from Bolshevik Russia, and ended an engagement to Vladimir Mayakovsky in 1928, before marrying du Plessix. During her widowhood, she once again became a refugee, escaping occupied France via Lisbon to New York in 1940 or 1941 with Francine and Alexander Liberman (1912–1999). In 1942, she married Liberman, another White Russian émigré, whom she had known in Paris as a child. (During his love affair with Liberman's mother, her uncle, Alexandre Yacovleff, had recruited Tatiana to keep the boy occupied.) He was a noted artist and later a longtime editorial director of Vogue magazine and then of Condé Nast Publications. The Libermans were socially prominent in media, art and fashion circles.
For the first six months in the United States, young Francine lived with her mother's father (whom she had never met) in Rochester, New York, while her mother settled in. She grew up in New York City and was naturalized a U.S. citizen in 1952. She was a scholarship student at Spence School, where she fainted in the library from malnutrition. Her mother learned that she had not been eating the meals the housekeeper prepared for her. She attended Bryn Mawr College for two years, and earned a B.A. in philosophy at Barnard College in 1952.
- United Press International, New York City, reporter at night desk, 1952–54
- Réalités (French magazine), Paris, France, editorial assistant for French edition, 1954–55
- Freelance writer, 1955--
- Art in America, New York City, book editor, 1964–66
- The New Yorker, New York City, staff writer, 1968-. Robert Gottlieb was her editor.
- Distinguished visiting professor at City College of the City University of New York, spring 1975
- Visiting lecturer at Saybrook College, Yale University, 1981
- Adjunct professor, School of Fine Arts, Columbia University, 1983--
- Ferris Professor, Princeton University, 1986
- Annenberg fellow, Brown University, 1997
- American Academy of Arts and Letters
- Authors Guild
- Institute of Humanities at New York University
- International PEN
- Putnam Creative Writing Award from Barnard College, 1952
- National Catholic Book Award from Catholic Press Association, 1971, for Divine Disobedience: Profiles in Catholic Radicalism
- Front Page Award from Newswomen's Club of New York, 1972, for Hawaii: The Sugar-Coated Fortress
- Guggenheim fellow 1991-92
- National Book Critics Circle Award for autobiography, 2006, for Them: A Memoir of Parents.
- Gray, F. d. P. (1970). Divine disobedience: profiles in Catholic radicalism. New York: Knopf.
- Gray, F. d. P. (1972). Hawaii: the sugar-coated fortress. New York: Random House.
- Gray, F. d. P. (1976). Lovers and tyrants. New York: Simon & Schuster.
- Gray, F. d. P. (1981). World without end: a novel. New York: Simon & Schuster.
- Gray, F. d. P. (1985). October blood. New York: Simon & Schuster.
- Gray, F. d. P. (1990). Soviet women: walking the tightrope. New York: Doubleday.
- Gray, F. d. P. (1994). Rage and fire: a life of Louise Colet, pioneer feminist, literary star, Flaubert's muse. New York: Simon & Schuster.
- Gray, F. d. P. (1998). At home with the Marquis de Sade: a life. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.
- Gray, F. d. P. (2001). Simone Weil. New York: Viking Press.
- Gray, F. d. P. (2005). Them: a memoir of parents. New York: Penguin Press. ISBN 978-0-14-303719-4.
- Gray, F. d. P. (2008). Madame de Staël. Atlas & Co.. ISBN 978-1-934633-17-5.
- Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2008. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale, 2008. http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/BioRC Document Number: H1000038983. Entry updated: 20 March 2006. Fee. Accessed 2008-10-31.
- "New Releases - Atlas & Co.". Atlas & Co. Retrieved 31 October 2008.
Atlas is an independent publisher of quality nonfiction.
- Mcalpin, Heller (22 May 2005). "Living lives of glamour in the midst of chaos". Los Angeles Times. p. R-3. Retrieved 31 October 2008.
- "Bertrand Jochaud du Plessix". Ordre de la Libération (in French). 7 July 2004. Retrieved 31 October 2008.
- Bellafante, Ginia (28 April 2005). "Francine du Plessix Gray: A Back Turned On the High Life". New York Times. Retrieved 2 November 2008.
- Maier, Thomas (1997). Newhouse: All the Glitter, Power, and Glory of America's Richest Media Empire and the Secretive Man Behind It. Big Earth Publishing. ISBN 978-1-55566-191-5. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- Flint, Peter B. (29 April 1991). "Tatiana du Plessix Liberman Dies; Leading Designer of Hats Was 84". New York Times. Retrieved 31 October 2008.
- See, Carolyn (31 October 2008). "French Letters' Open Book". Washington Post. p. C2.
[She] does a marvelous job in "Madame de Staël" filling us in on the French Revolution as though it were easy to understand...I loved this book!
- NY Times Article, At Home with Francine du Plessix Gray: A Back Turned On the High Life
- Francine du Plessix Gray's books online
- Boston Globe interview with Gray
- NY Review of Books Gray Bibliography
- Contemporary Authors Autobiography Series, Volume 2, Gale (Detroit), 1985.
- Contemporary Literary Criticism, Volume 22, Gale, 1982.
- American Spectator, January, 1982; July, 1990.
- Belles Lettres, summer, 1994.
- Booklist, February 1, 1994, p. 990.
- Books and Bookmen, March, 1971.
- Book World, October 13, 1985.
- Chicago Tribune Book World, May 31, 1981; August 15, 1982; March 25, 1990.
- Commentary, August, 1981.
- Commonweal, May 22, 1981.
- Contemporary Review, January, 1996, p. 53.
- Detroit News, December 16, 1981.
- Economist (magazine), February 13, 1999.
- "Simone Weil and Rosa Parks: Two kinds of heroism". Economist magazine. 2001-07-19. Retrieved 2008-11-03.
- Esquire, June, 1981.
- Harpers, November, 1976.
- Listener, February 25, 1971; June 2, 1977.
- Los Angeles Times Book Review, March 25, 1990.
- Maclean's, April 9, 1990.
- Ms. (magazine), November, 1976; July, 1981.
- Nation, February 1, 1971; November 20, 1976; June 4, 1990.
- National Observer, December 18, 1976.
- National Review, November 12, 1976; December 31, 1998, p. 44.
- New Republic, June 27, 1970; May 9, 1994, p. 39.
- Newsweek, October 11, 1976; June 22, 1981; March 26, 1990.
- The New Yorker, October 12, 1998, p. 85.
- New York Review of Books, November 11, 1976; May 26, 1994, p. 12.
- New York Times, October 8, 1976; September 15, 1979; May 19, 1981; August 20, 1981; April 6, 1992.
- New York Times Book Review, May 31, 1970; October 17, 1976; May 24, 1981; September 12, 1982; October 6, 1985; March 11, 1990; March 20, 1994.
- Regina Weinreich (Summer 1987). "Francine du Plessix Gray, The Art of Fiction No. 96". Paris Review.
- The Progressive, November, 1981.
- Publishers Weekly, January 17, 1994, p. 376; October 5, 1998, p. 65.
- Quill & Quire, July, 1990.
- Saturday Review, June 13, 1970; October 30, 1976; May, 1981.
- Time magazine, November 1, 1976.
- Times Literary Supplement, May 20, 1977; July 22, 1994.
- Village Voice, November 22, 1976.
- Wall Street Journal, October 25, 1976; June 1, 1981.
- Washington Post Book World, August 29, 1976; October 24, 1976; May 24, 1981; March 11, 1990.
- Women's Review of Books, December, 1990.