Irsfeld, John H. 1937–

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Irsfeld, John H. 1937–

(John Henry Irsfeld)

PERSONAL: Born December 2, 1937, in Bemidji, MN; son of Hubert Louis and Mary Lillian Irsfeld; married Margaret Elizabeth Drushel (a systems analyst), August 29, 1965 (divorced, February, 1978); married Janet Elizabeth Jones, May 5, 1984; children: (first marriage) Hannah Christine. Education: University of Texas, B.A., 1959, M.A., 1966, Ph.D., 1969. Politics: Democrat.

ADDRESSES: Office—c/o University of Nevada, 4505 S. Maryland Pkwy., P.O. Box 455011, Las Vegas, NV 89154-5011. E-mail[email protected].

CAREER: Public school teacher of Spanish and English in Calallen, TX, 1959–60; University of Nevada, Las Vegas, assistant professor, 1969–73, associate professor, 1973–77, professor of English, 1977–, department chair, 1977–84, Barrick scholar, 1985–86, executive assistant to senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, 1984–87, deputy to president, 1987–90, vice president, 1990–94, corporate secretary to University of Nevada Las Vegas Foundation, 1987–94. Nevada Humanities Committee, member, 1981–87; National Endowment for the Humanities, board member, 1988, 1989, 1990, and 1992; public speaker; gives readings from his works. University of Nevada Press, member of executive committee, 1985–88, chair of executive board, 1988–90, member of editorial advisory board, 1988–94. Military service: U.S. Army, Infantry, teacher of English as a second language, 1961–64; became sergeant.

AWARDS, HONORS: Barrick Scholar Award, University of Nevada at Las Vegas, 1985–86; Nevada Governor's Arts Award, 1994; inducted to Texas Institute of Letters, 1998; inducted to Nevada Writers Hall of Fame, 2003.


Coming Through (novel; first volume of a trilogy), G.P. Putnam's Sons (New York, NY), 1975.

Little Kingdoms (novel; second volume of a trilogy), G.P. Putnam's Sons (New York, NY), 1976.

Rats Alley (novel; third volume of a trilogy), University of Nevada Press (Reno, NV), 1987.

Radio Elvis and Other Stories, Texas Christian University Press (Fort Worth, TX), 2002.

Work represented in anthologies. Author of "On the Other Hand," a monthly column in Las Vegan, 1980–85, and "Commentary," a monthly column in LV: Magazine of Las Vegas, 1985–87. Contributor of short stories, poetry, articles, and reviews to journals, including Western American Literature, Redneck Review, Sparrow, Kansas Quarterly, South Dakota Review, Halcyon: Journal of the Nevada Humanities Committee, Los Angeles Reader, College English, Texas Observer, and Creative Review. Senior editor, Las Vegas, 1980–85, and LV: Magazine of Las Vegas, 1985–87. Member of editorial advisory board, Nevada Historical Society Quarterly, 1987–93. Papers collected in Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center, Boston University.



American Book Review, November, 1987, review of Rats Alley, p. 16.

Austin Chronicle, April 25, 2003, Tom Doyal, review of Radio Elvis and Other Stories.

Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2002, review of Radio Elvis and Other Stories, p. 1062.

Library Journal, July, 1987, Thomas L. Kilpatrick, review of Rats Alley, p. 95.

Publishers Weekly, June 5, 1987, review of Rats Alley, p. 69.

University Press Book News, December, 1989, review of Little Kingdoms, p. 23.

Western American Literature, summer, 1988, review of Rats Alley, p. 170.


University of Nevada Las Vegas Web site: John Irsfeld Home Page, (April 8, 2006).