Melissa Bank

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Melissa Bank
Born 1961 (age 55–56)[1]
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Occupation Novelist
Language English
Nationality American
Alma mater Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Genre Chick lit
Notable works The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing
Notable awards Nelson Algren Award, 1993; Bestseller List (UK); Bestseller List (US)

Melissa Bank (born in 1961 in Philadelphia) is an American author. She has published two books, The Wonder Spot a volume of short stories, and The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing, a novel, which have been translated into over 30 languages.[2] Bank was the winner of the 1993 Nelson Algren Award for short fiction.[2] She currently teaches in the MFA program at Stony Brook Southampton.


Bank was born in Philadelphia. Her father, a neurologist, died of leukemia in his late 50s.[1] Bank attended Hobart and William Smith Colleges,[3] and has an MFA from Cornell University.[2] Bank's literary influences include Vladimir Nabokov, John Cheever, Billy Collins, and Grace Paley;[2] her favorite nonfiction writer is Janet Malcolm.[1]

The Girls' Guide to Hunting And Fishing[edit]

The Girls' Guide to Hunting And Fishing took Bank twelve years to write.[1] Most of that time Bank worked as a copywriter, focusing on the novel in her spare time.[1] About five years before the book was published, Bank was involved in a serious bicycle accident where she was struck by a car. She landed on her head, and even though she was wearing a helmet, she suffered post-concussion syndrome for almost two years. This condition affected her short-term memory and deprived her of the "top 10 to 15% of [her] vocabulary"; she was unable to order information or perform sequential thinking. Bank had to stop writing the book during this period.[1]

Finally published in 1999, The Girls' Guide to Hunting And Fishing was a bestseller in both the United States and the United Kingdom, garnering mostly positive reviews. The Los Angeles Times wrote, "Bank writes like John Cheever, but funnier."[4] Newsweek critic Yahlin Chang wrote, "Bank draws exquisite portraits of loneliness, and she can do it in a sentence."[5] Others placed Bank in the school of restraint exemplified by Hemingway and Raymond Carver.[citation needed]

Bank has published short stories and nonfiction in such publications as the Chicago Tribune, Ploughshares, Zoetrope, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, and Seventeen, as well as been broadcast on National Public Radio and the BBC.[2]

Bank divides her time between New York City and East Hampton.[1][2]


  • The Wonder Spot - 2005
  • "Run run run run run run run away" (short story) - 2005
  • "The Worst Thing a Suburban Girl Could Imagine" (short story) - 1999
  • The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing - 1999


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "A Polished Act (Interview)," The Guardian (July 19, 1999).
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Melissa Bank," Red Room. Accessed March 31, 2011.
  3. ^ Julie V. Iovine (1999-07-22). "AT HOME WITH: MELISSA BANK; So Familiar, So Private". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-05-06. 
  4. ^ "The Best Books of 1999: The Best Fiction of 1999", Los Angeles Times (Dec. 5, 1999).
  5. ^ Chang, Yahlin. "A Hot Young Writer You Can Bank On," Newsweek (May 31, 1999).