Gentry, Marshall Bruce 1953-
GENTRY, Marshall Bruce 1953-
PERSONAL: Born July 28, 1953, in Little Rock, AR; son of Robert Bruce (an owner and manager of a grocery store) and Daisy Belle (a bookkeeper and homemaker; maiden name, Stockwell) Gentry; married Alice Friman (a poet), September 24, 1989. Education: University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, B.A. (with high honors), 1975; University of Chicago, A.M., 1976; University of Texas at Austin, Ph.D., 1984. Politics: Liberal Democrat.
ADDRESSES: Home—6312 Central Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46220. Office—Department of English, University of Indianapolis, 1400 East Hanna Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46227.
CAREER: Texas A & M University, College Station, visiting instructor, 1982-83, visiting assistant professor of English, 1983-84; University of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN, assistant professor, 1985-91, associate professor, 1991-97, professor of English, 1998—, chair of English department, 1997—.
MEMBER: Modern Language Association of America, American Literature Association, American Association of University Professors, College English Association, Flannery O'Connor Society, Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature, Society for the Study of Southern Literature, Indiana College English Association, Writers' Center of Indiana, Phi Beta Kappa (member of board of directors, 1992-2000; president, Alpha Association of Indianapolis, 1994-95), Phi Kappa Phi.
Flannery O'Connor's Religion of the Grotesque, University Press of Mississippi (Jackson, MS), 1986.
(Coeditor) Conversations with Raymond Carver, University Press of Mississippi (Jackson, MS), 1990.
(Coeditor) The Practice and Theory of Ethics, University of Indianapolis Press (Indianapolis, IN), 1996.
Contributor to Flannery O'Connor: New Perspectives, edited by Sura Rath and Mary Neff Shaw, University of Georgia Press, and Realist of Distances: Flannery O'Connor Revisited, edited by Karl-Heinz Westarp and Jan Nordby Grettund, Aarhus University Press (Denmark). Contributor of articles and poetry to various periodicals, including Contemporary Literature, CEA Critic, Flannery O'Connor Bulletin, Kansas Quarterly, Modern Fiction Studies, Arts Indiana, Shofar, South Dakota Review, Hopewell Review and Southern Quarterly; member of editorial board, Flannery O'Connor Bulletin, 1993-2000; editor of The Flying Island, the literary review of Writers' Center of Indiana and University of Indianapolis, 1999—. Also contributor of book reviews for Studies in Short Fiction and Independent Publisher.
WORK IN PROGRESS: Research on contemporary American fiction, especially the work of E. L. Doctorow.
SIDELIGHTS: Marshall Bruce Gentry once told CA: "In Flannery O'Connor's Religion of the Grotesque I argue that most O'Connor characters unconsciously use their grotesquerie to bring about their redemption. In the process they typically rival the O'Connor narrator for authority. Rather than equating the O'Connor narrator with O'Connor herself, I believe her narrators voice a religious conventionality that O'Connor's works reject.
"My work on contemporary fiction grows out of questions about gender in O'Connor. In my work on E. L. Doctorow I am interested in the politics of gender as they relate to questions of point of view."
Gentry more recently told CA: "Having fallen madly in love with an excellent poet and having started to try my own hand at writing poems, I am very interested in trying to write the kind of literary criticism that creative writers will not ridicule. I continue to take personally the works of Flannery O'Connor, but I'm also interested in the broader subject of women's voices in fiction by men."