Lee Siegel (professor and novelist)

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Lee Siegel
Born (1945-07-22) July 22, 1945 (age 71)
Los Angeles, California
Occupation professor, novelist
Nationality United States
Genre fiction, campus novel

Lee A. Siegel (born 1945, Los Angeles, California) is a novelist and professor of religion at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. His 1999 novel, Love in a Dead Language, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year [1] and a bestseller in India.

Life and career[edit]

Siegel studied comparative literature at the University of California, Berkeley and fine arts at Columbia University. He received his D.Phil. from the University of Oxford for a dissertation in the field of Sanskrit. He then was hired by the University of Hawaii as Professor of Religious Studies, where he has taught ever since.

In 1988 Siegel was a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow.[2] He has received numerous fellowships and grants including five Senior Research Fellowships from the American Institute of Indian Studies and the Smithsonian Institution (1979, 1983, 1987, 1991, 1996), four research grants from the American Council of Learned Societies and the Social Science Research Council (1982, 1985, 1987, 1990) and one from the Center for Asian and Pacific Studies. In addition Professor Siegel has been two Presidential Awards for Excellence in Teaching (1986 and 1996). He has been a scholar-in-residence at the Rockefeller Foundation, and twice at the Bellagio Study Center (1990 and 2003). He also was a Visiting Fellow at All Souls College of Oxford University (1997).

His two sons are Dmitri and film actor Sebastian Sebastian Siegel.

Scholarly works[edit]

From 1978 until the late 1990s, Siegel published scholarly studies of Indian love poetry, comedy, horror, and magic. These books include:

  • Sacred and Profane Dimensions of Love in Indian Traditions as Exemplified in the Gitagovinda of Jayadeva (Oxford University South Asian Studies Series)(1978)
  • Dream-symbolism in the sr amanic tradition: two psychoanalytical studies in Jinist and Buddhist dream legends (with Jagdish P. Sharma) (1980)
  • Fires of Love, Waters of Peace in Indian Culture (1983)
  • Laughing Matters. Comic Tradition in India (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1987) ISBN 978-0-226-75691-2
  • Net of Magic. Wonders and Deceptions in India (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1991) ISBN 978-0-226-75687-5
  • City of Dreadful Night. A Story about Horror and the Macabre in India (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1995) ISBN 978-0-226-75689-9

Novels and other fictions[edit]

In 1999, Siegel published his first novel, Love in a Dead Language. It was named the New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

His fictional works are:

  • Love in a Dead Language: A Romance (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1999) ISBN 978-0-226-75699-8. Read an excerpt.
  • Love and Other Games of Chance: A Novelty (2003)
  • Who Wrote the Book of Love? A Chronicle of the Sexual Life of an American Boy in the 1950s (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2005) ISBN 978-0-226-75700-1. Read an excerpt.
  • Love and the Incredibly Old Man: A Novel (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2008) ISBN 978-0-226-75705-6. Read an excerpt.
  • Trance-Migrations: Stories of India, Tales of Hypnosis (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2014) ISBN 9780226185323. Read an excerpt.


  1. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/books/99/12/05/reviews/notable-fiction.html
  2. ^ U.S. and Canadian Fellows, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Fellows page, 1988

External links[edit]