Braham, (E.) Jeanne 1940-

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article
views updated

BRAHAM, (E.) Jeanne 1940-

PERSONAL: Born May 11, 1940, in Butler, PA; daughter of Luther Cochran (an attorney) and Mary Dorothy (a homemaker; maiden name, Douthett) Braham. Ethnicity: "White." Education: College of Wooster, B.A.; University of Pennsylvania, M.A.; Carnegie-Mellon University, Ph.D. Politics: "Independent/Liberal." Religion: Unitarian-Universalist. Hobbies and other interests: Gardening, raising dogs, music.

ADDRESSES: Home—239 River Rd., Sunderland, MA 01375. Office—Department of English, Clark University, Worcester, MA 01610. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Allegheny College, Meadville, PA, professor, 1970-90; Clark University, Worcester, MA, professor, 1994-2002. Chautauqua Writers Center, creative writing teacher; visiting professor at Smith College, Hampshire College, University of New Hampshire, and College of the Holy Cross. Heather-stone Press, founding editor and chief.

MEMBER: Modern Language Association of America, Associated Writing Programs, Poets and Writers (Ireland).

AWARDS, HONORS: Fellow of Five College Women's Studies Center and Tyrone Guthrie Center for the Arts.

WRITINGS:

One Means of Telling Time (poetry), Geryon Press, 1982.

Primary Sources (poetry), privately printed, 1983.

A Sort of Columbus: The Fiction of Saul Bellow, University of Georgia Press (Athens, GA), 1985.

Crucial Conversations, Teachers College Press (New York, NY), 1995.

(With Pamela Peterson) Starry, Starry Night: Provincetown's Response to the AIDS Crisis, Brookline Books/Lumen Editions (Cambridge, MA), 1998.

SIDELIGHTS: Jeanne Braham's book Starry, Starry Night: Provincetown's Response to the AIDS Crisis, takes the reader into the community of Provincetown, Massachusetts, and shows how the residents deal with the AIDS epidemic. William J. Mann reviewed Starry, Starry Night in the Lambda Book Report: "It's a fascinating story as told through the various narrators—and a unique one, … But there's a faultline running through the compilation, and it's similar to the faultline that eventually shook Provincetown itself, in the months just before the authors commenced their interviews…. There is much here about the kind ness of others; there is not nearly as much on the empowerment of those with HIV themselves." Braham writes about the situation as she sees it unfolding in front of her, interviewing those who have been infected or are directly affected by the virus, while the empowerment and salvation of the infected is the goal of such a book, which aims to educate others about the problem.

Braham once told CA: "My writing has always followed a dual path: literary criticism that is useful, hopefully, in college classroom settings, and poetry that helps me follow the associational leaps of my own imagination. Recently I've turned to the essay and creative nonfiction, which seem to allow for narratives grounded in real-world experience and yet extended into meaning via some of the same conventions that belong to fiction and poetry: metaphor, extended analogy, careful attention to setting, and the development of voice, dialogue, and character. While I am still at the experimental stage with this genre, it seems like an exciting, fluid medium."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

periodicals

Biography: Interdisciplinary Quarterly, fall, 1996, review of Crucial Conversations, p. 434.

Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 1998, review of Starry, Starry Night: Provincetown's Response to the AIDS Crisis, p. 376.

Lambda Book Report, September, 1998, William J. Mann, review of Starry, Starry Night, p. 16.