Lynne Tillman

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Lynne Tillman
Lynne Tillman at the Norwood club, Manhattan, 2016
Tillman at the Norwood club in Manhattan, 2016
short story writer
cultural critic
NationalityUnited States
Notable worksNo Lease on Life
Cast in Doubt
Motion Sickness
Haunted Houses
SpouseDavid Hofstra

Lynne Tillman (born 1947) is a novelist, short story writer, and cultural critic. She is currently Professor/Writer-in-Residence in the Department of English at the University at Albany and teaches at the School of Visual Arts' Art Criticism and Writing MFA Program.[1] Tillman is the author of six novels, five collections of short stories, two collection of essays, and two other nonfiction books. She writes a bi-monthly column "In These Intemperate Times" for Frieze art magazine.


From left to right: Xiaolu Guo, Robie Harris, Rakesh Satyal and Tillman speaking on the effect of government surveillance on author self-censorship, with other authors at the 2014 Brooklyn Book Festival


Tillman's novels include: American Genius, A Comedy (2006); No Lease on Life (1998), which was a finalist for a National Book Critics Award in Fiction; Cast in Doubt (1992); Motion Sickness (1991); and Haunted Houses (1987). In March 2018, her sixth novel Men and Apparitions was published by Soft Skull Press.

Absence Makes the Heart (1990) is Tillman's first collection of short stories. The Broad Picture (1997) is a collection of Tillman's essays, which were published originally in literary and art periodicals.

Her other story collections are: The Madame Realism Complex (1992); This Is Not It (2002), stories written in response to the work of 22 contemporary artists; Someday This Will Be Funny (2011); and The Complete Madame Realism and Other Stories.


In 1995, Tillman's nonfiction work, The Velvet Years: Warhol's Factory 1965-1967, was published with photographs by Stephen Shore; it presented 18 Warhol Factory personalities' narratives, based on interviews with them, as well as her critical essay on Andy Warhol, his art and studio. Tillman is also the author of the nonfiction book The Life and Times of Jeannette Watson and Books & Co. (1999), a cultural and social history of a literary landmark where writers and artists congregated for nearly 20 years.

What Would Lynne Tillman Do? (2014), her second essay collection, was a Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism in 2014.

The entirety of What Would Lynne Tillman Do? is available online.

Personal life[edit]

Tillman lives in Manhattan with the musician David Hofstra. Her personal papers were purchased by the Fales Library at New York University.[2]

Tillman is a collector of the work of artist Caroline Goe.[3]

Awards and honors[edit]



  • Haunted houses. 1987.
  • Motion Sickness (1991)
  • Cast in Doubt (1992)
  • No Lease on Life (1998)
  • American Genius, A Comedy (2006)
  • Men and Apparitions (2018)

Short story collections[edit]

  • Absence Makes the Heart (1990)
  • The Madame Realism Complex (1992)
  • This Is Not It (2002)
  • Someday This Will Be Funny (2011)
  • The Complete Madame Realism and Other Stories (2016)


  • The Velvet Years: Warhol's Factory 1965-1967 (1995)
  • The Broad Picture" (1997)
  • Bookstore: The Life and Times of Jeannette Watson and Books & Co. (1999)
  • What Would Lynne Tillman Do? (2014)


  • Yeh, James (Dec 2017 – Jan 2018). "Lynne Tillman". Interviews. Writers. The Believer. 14 (3): 66–70.


  1. ^ "Lynne Tillmann Faculty Profile". SVA MFA Art Criticism and Writing. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
  2. ^ "The Fales Library Guide to the Lynne Tillman Papers 1939-2008". The Fales Library. October 24, 2019. Retrieved November 3, 2019.
  3. ^ "White Columns - Exhibitions". Retrieved 2019-05-29.
  4. ^ "National Book Critics Circle Announces Finalists for Publishing Year 2014". National Book Critics Circle. January 19, 2015. Retrieved January 29, 2015.

External links[edit]