Prose, Francine 1947-
Prose, Francine 1947-
PERSONAL: Born April 1, 1947, in Brooklyn, NY; daughter of Philip (a physician) and Jessie (a physician) Prose; married Howard (“Howie”) Michels (a sculptor), September 24, 1976; children: Bruno, Leon. Education: Radcliffe College, B.A., 1968; Harvard University, M.A., 1969. Religion: Jewish.
CAREER: Writer, novelist, short-story writer, essayist, critic, translator, and book reviewer. Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, teacher of creative writing, 1971-72; University of Arizona, Tucson, visiting lecturer in fiction, 1982-84; Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa, NC, member of faculty in master of fine arts program, beginning 1984. Instructor at Bread Loaf Writers Conference, summer, 1984; has also taught at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Sarah Lawrence College, and Johns Hopkins University.
MEMBER: PEN, Associated Writing Programs.
AWARDS, HONORS: Jewish Book Council Award, 1973, for Judah the Pious; MLLE Award, Mademoiselle, 1975; Edgar Lewis Wallant Memorial Award, Hartford Jewish Community Center, 1984, for Hungry Hearts; Fulbright fellowship, 1989; New York Public Library, Director’s Fellow, 1999; National Book Award finalist, 2000, for Blue Angel; Dayton Literary Peace Price in fiction, 2006, for A Changed Man; New York Institute for the Humanities, fellow; Guggenheim fellowship; National Endowment for the Arts grant (two-time recipient); PEN translation prize; Center for Scholars and Writers, fellow.
Judah the Pious, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1973.
The Glorious Ones, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1974.
Marie Laveau, Berkley Publishing (New York, NY), 1977.
Animal Magnetism, Putnam (New York, NY), 1978.
Household Saints, St. Martin’s Press (New York, NY), 1981, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2003.
Hungry Hearts, Pantheon (New York, NY), 1983.
Bigfoot Dreams, Pantheon (New York, NY), 1986.
Women and Children First (short stories), Pantheon (New York, NY), 1988.
Primitive People, Farrar, Straus & Giroux (New York, NY), 1992.
The Peaceable Kingdom (short stories), Farrar, Straus & Giroux (New York, NY), 1993.
Hunters and Gatherers, Farrar, Straus & Giroux (New York, NY), 1995.
Guided Tours of Hell (novellas), Holt (New York, NY), 1997.
Blue Angel, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2000.
After (young adult novel), HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2003.
(Editor) Best New American Voices 2005, Harcourt (New York, NY), 2004.
A Changed Man (novel), HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2005.
Bullyville (novel), HarperTeen (New York, NY), 2007.
Goldengrove (novel), HarperCollins Publishers (New York, NY), 2008.
(Author of introduction) Master Breasts: Objectified, Aestheticized, Fantasized, Eroticized, Feminized by Photography’s Most Titillating Masters, edited by Melissa Harris, Aperture (New York, NY), 1998.
(With others) On Writing Short Stories, edited by Tom Bailey, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2000.
The Lives of the Muses: Nine Women and the Artists They Inspired, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2002.
Sicilian Odyssey, National Geographic Society(Washington, DC), 2003.
Gluttony: The Seven Deadly Sins, New York Public Library (New York, NY), 2003.
(Editor) The Mrs. Dalloway Reader, Harcourt (Orlando, FL), 2003.
(Author of essay) Elizabeth Murray: Paintings, 1999-2003: March 7-April 19, 2003, PaceWildenstein (New York, NY), 2003.
Caravaggio: Painter of Miracles, Atlas Books/HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2005.
(Author of essay) Loretta Lux, Aperture (New York, NY), 2005.
Reading like a Writer: A Guide for People Who LoveBooks and for Those Who Want to Write Them, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2006.
Stories from Our Living Past (Jewish tales; includes teacher’s guide), illustrated by Erika Weihs, Behr-man (New York, NY), 1974.
Dybbuk: A Story Made in Heaven, illustrated by Mark Podwal, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1996.
(Reteller) The Angel’s Mistake: Stories of Chelm (folklore), illustrated by Mark Podwal, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1997.
You Never Know: A Legend of the Lamed-Vavniks (folklore), illustrated by Mark Podwal, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1998.
The Demons’ Mistake: A Story from Chelm (folklore), illustrated by Mark Podwal, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 2000.
Leopold, the Liar of Leipzig, illustrated by Einav Aviram, Joanna Cotler Books (New York, NY), 2005.
(With Madeline Levine) Ida Fink, A Scrap of Time: And Other Stories, Pantheon (New York, NY), 1987.
(With Joanna Weschler) Ida Fink, The Journey, Farrar, Straus & Giroux (New York, NY), 1992.
Carter Wilson, A Green Tree and a Dry Tree (fiction), University of New Mexico Press (Albuquerque, NM), 1995.
(With Philip Boehm) Ida Fink, Traces: Short Stories, Metropolitan Books (New York, NY), 1997.
Contributor to periodicals, including Mademoiselle, Redbook, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, New York Times Magazine, Atlantic, Village Voice, Elle, 0, Redbook, Real Simple, Victoria, New York Observer, Art News, Yale Review, New Republic, New York Times, Bomb, Wall Street Journal, and Commentary.
Harper’s Magazine, contributing editor.
ADAPTATIONS: A film adaptation of Household Saints was released in 1993.
SIDELIGHTS: Francine Prose has enjoyed a long and accomplished career as an author of unique novels and short stories for adults and also for children, works of fiction that blend elements of the real with the fantastic. In addition to her reputation as a writer of fiction, Prose is also well known as a critic and book reviewer. She published her first novel, Judah the Pious, when she was in her twenties, and many critics praised it as a work beyond its author’s years. The story is about an eighteenth-century rabbi who teaches the King of Poland that there are some things in the world that defy ordinary reason. In this book, Prose first demonstrates techniques, themes, and writing styles that appear throughout her body of work. Her deceptively simple style and fanciful subject matter lend themselves well to her later children’s stories.
Prose has added elements of the fanciful, allegorical, or magical to nearly every book she has written, whether it is the voodoo conjured by title character Marie Laveau in the novel set in nineteenth-century New Orleans, the strange belief in a “universal fluid” that connects all creatures and can do almost anything in Animal Magnetism, or the confusion between appearances and reality and elements of spirituality in Hungry Hearts. Some of these books, such as Hungry Hearts and Judah the Pious, have Jewish characters, but most of Prose’s adult titles feature a diverse range of people, including seventeenth-century Italian actors in The Glorious Ones, the half-black title character in Marie Laveau, or the modern-day tabloid journalist in Bigfoot Dreams.
While Prose’s adult works have touched on various subjects, much of her fiction for children, which she began writing in earnest in the mid-1990s, has a basis in Jewish folklore. Her first children’s book, Stories from Our Living Past, is a collection of Jewish tales published only a year after her debut novel. With her second work for a younger audience, however, Prose took liberties with tradition for the sake of the story.
In Dybbuk: A Story Made in Heaven, the author combines the Jewish legend about how angels in heaven match lovers before they are born, with the folklore story of the supernatural dybbuk. Leah and Chonon are two youngsters from nearby shtetls who fall in love, but Leah’s parents want her to marry Benya, an old, mean man who is rich. Just when she is about to be forced to marry Benya, Leah begins to talk and sneeze the same way that Chonon does. The rabbi declares that she is possessed by Chonon’s dybbuk, and nothing can be done to help her until the two lovers are allowed to wed. Reviewers such as Hazel Rochman of Booklist found the story “wonderfully theatrical; there’s no way to read this without acting the parts and laughing out loud.” Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books commentator Betsy Hearne wrote: “It’s fun and it’s funny—one of those picture books which, by staying true to an ethnic tradition, reaches beyond it as well.”
In the role of reteller in The Angel’s Mistake: Stories of Chelm, Prose presents the Jewish legend of a town inhabited entirely by foolish people. The founders of Chelm, the legend goes, arrived on Earth when two angels accidentally dropped a bag of foolish souls and they all ended up in one spot instead of scattered through the world as intended. The townspeople do such ridiculous things as wear their hats upside down to keep them dry and carry a huge rock up a mountain to let it roll down because that is supposedly easier than carrying it to its original destination. The villagers burn the town down after lighting a fire that goes out of control when the firemen try to smother it with wooden logs, and the fools finally scatter across the countryside as the angels had first planned. Hanna B. Zeiger, writing in Horn Book, called Prose’s retelling “a pleasant addition to the many stories of Chelm.” The author’s matter-of-fact tone, which is characteristic of her adult fiction, makes the Chelmites’ exploits all the more funny. As one Kirkus Reviews critic noted, Prose has created an “understated, humorous narrative. Families will find this a savory treat for sharing.”
The Demons’ Mistake: A Story from Chelm is another story set in the area of Chelm. When Reb Pupkin throws a party for his son Chaim, visiting from America, the demons lurk about looking for a way to ruin the celebration. When they hear Chaim’s (now calling himself Charles) descriptions of New York, however, they pause. Streets of gold, copious food, constant parties—this sounds like something the demons want in on. They hide in a shipping crate bound for America, but are diverted when the unidentified crate goes unopened for fifty years. When they finally escape their confinement, they discover that New York is nothing like they expected, and their troublemaking has little effect. Even their efforts to reveal themselves and scare people are futile on a spooky Halloween night. Soon, however, they learn new and more modern ways of causing mischief, particularly within the already tricky networks of computers. A Publishers Weekly contributor called the book a “funny, unexpectedly sympathetic story” that is “just right for contemporary audiences.”
You Never Know: A Legend of the Lamed-Vavniks, is the story of a simple cobbler, Poor Stupid Schmuel. Because of his habit of fixing shoes for free, he is thought by the town to be a fool. But when his successful prayers end both a drought and a flood, they realize that he is instead a Lamed-Vavnik, one of the thirty-six righteous men born in every generation. You Never Know was praised as “fresh and memorable” by a Publishers Weekly critic and as “an excellent read-aloud” by School Library Journal contributor Susan Scheps.
Leopold, the Liar of Leipzig contains the story of Leopold, a beloved figure in his native Leipzig, who captivates his audiences with alliterative tales of miraculous wonders and fanciful creatures from exotic, far-off lands. Leopold regularly holds court at the zoo, spinning his stories, until a dour scientist arrives to give lectures on the real nature of the world beyond Leipzig. Though his talks are factual, they are also boring, and soon he finds people prefer listening to Leopold’s yarns. Aghast, the scientist accuses Leopold of lying. Arrested and brought before an ominous court, defends himself by explaining the critical distinction between fact and stories. Acquitted, Leopold returns to his familiar spot at the zoo, and the scientist leaves town in shame. The story will “affirm what kids know: the exciting truth of imaginative play,” commented Hazel Rochman in Booklist.
Prose branched out into the YA genre with After, a story about the lingering effects of a school shooting. After the shooting at Pleasant Valley High, nearby Central High is taken over by purported grief counselor Dr. Willner. But instead of providing counseling, Willner instead turns Central into a virtual prison. Protagonist Tom’s friends are caught up in Willner’s web of control, and some are sent away and never heard from again. Eventually, Tom learns that the repression at his school is only a small part of a wider plan: students all across the country are being sent away to gulag-style camps as part of the so-called “Operation Turnaround.” As Tom gains more knowledge of these events, he and his friend Becca fight against the evil administration and their brainwashed parents, risking their lives in the process. “Because the narrative is kept faithfully inside [Tom’s] mind, readers are skillfully left just as unsettled, frightened, and confused as he is himself,” commented a Kirkus Reviews critic.
After “raises all-too-relevant questions about the fine line between safety as a means of protection versus encroachment on individual rights and free will,” noted a Publishers Weekly contributor. This was the point, as Prose explained in an interview for Publishers Weekly: “I’d been doing a lot of thinking about the new security measures… taken in schools since the Columbine shootings. I’d even heard that a hotline had been formed for students to report any kids acting ‘weird’ at their school. I mean really, don’t all kids act weird in adolescence? The issue of security and the loss of civil liberties are suddenly so much in our culture, but no one’s asking kids how they feel about it.”
Though Prose has been successful as an writer of works for younger readers, she has also earned a considerable reputation as the author of novels for adult readers. In Hunters and Gatherers, Martha is a lonely, insecure young woman who works as a fact-checker for a national fashion magazine. Skinny, dissatisfied with her life and job, unglamorous, and recently broken up with her boyfriend, she takes a break at a local beach one Labor Day weekend. While there, her attention is attracted by an earnest group of women conducting a ceremony at water’s edge. When the group’s leader nearly drowns, Martha saves her. Her heroism earns her the gratitude of the diverse group of goddess worshipers and their leader, Isis Moonwagon. Soon, Martha is deeply involved in the group and embarked on her own spiritual quest. Martha and the group reach an important and redefining turning point during a visit to a shaman/ priestess in the harsh Arizona desert. Throughout the novel, “Prose brilliantly captures the absurdities and hypocrisies inherent in such groups,” observed Carol LeMasters in the Women’s Review of Books. “This is civilized, witty and thoughtful entertainment, brilliantly satiric but basically sweet-natured and true,” commented a Publishers Weekly contributor. “Prose, as always, is wonderfully witty and shrewd, creating vivid characters true to type and hilariously piquant dialogue,” remarked Donna Seaman in a Booklist review.
Ted Swenson is a creative writing professor at a small college in Prose’s novel Blue Angel. Firmly entrenched in his academic world, Swenson’s life at middle age is nearly perfect. His teaching load is low, his prestige is high, and he continues to coast through his career on the reputation he earned from a novel published several years prior. He and his beloved wife have settled into a pleasant routine now that their daughter has left to attend college. Ted teaches a never-ending stream of lackluster wannabe-writers and occasionally works on his own long-overdue second novel. His careful, comfortable world is threatened, however, when he encounters a new student, Angela Argo, a pierced, punk-rock, counterculture young woman who displays the most genuine writing talent he’s ever seen in a student. Initially drawn to Angela because of her writing abilities, Ted soon finds himself involved with her on a deeper, more personal, much more dangerous level. “One senses Swenson’s fate almost from his first meeting with Angela,” observed Michele Orecklin in Time. Swenson’s “impending entanglement is compelling and fascinating to behold,” remarked Reba Leiding in Library Journal. Displaying “sharply etched characters” and a “keen sense of satire,” Prose “breathes new life into a standard story of academe,” commented Booklist reviewer Brad Hooper. A Publishers Weekly reviewer called the novel a “peerlessly accomplished performance, at once tinglingly contemporary and timelessly funny.”
The title character of Prose’s novel A Changed Man is Vincent Nolan, a rugged, tattooed ex-skinhead who undergoes a drug-fueled change of heart and seeks to renounce his racist and anti-Semitic ways. To this end, he visits the New York headquarters of a Jewish human rights foundation, World Brotherhood Watch, and presents himself to founder and leader Meyer Maslow, a Holocaust survivor. Intrigued by the possibilities presented by Nolan, who professes a desire to help the organization help “save guys like me from becoming guys like me” Maslow accepts his assistance. Besides, he reasons, the public relations coup of having a reformed skinhead on staff will help revive the group’s flagging fund-raising efforts. Maslow convinces the organization’s fund-raiser, single mother Bonnie Kalen, to let Nolan stay with her and her two adolescent sons, Max and Danny. Bonnie, struck by ongoing awe and near-hero worship of Maslow, agrees. “Prose tears into this unusual premise with the piercing wit that has become her trademark,” observed a Publishers Weekly critic. Soon, Nolan gains the favor of the moneyed patrons of the World Brotherhood Watch, and his presence sparks much media attention and a publicity boon for the foundation. Meanwhile, Max and Danny, starved for adult male attention, come to accept him almost as a father figure, and Bonnie begins to feel an unexpected attraction toward him. As the novel progresses, Bonnie and Maslow learn that Nolan may not be a genuine skinhead after all, but only pretended to be one while his cousin Raymond, a dedicated member of the Aryan Resistance Movement, gave him a place to stay. Since Nolan stole a truck, money, and a cache of drugs from him, Raymond has been on the lookout for his wayward cousin, and a later encounter between the two will become important to the story’s resolution. In the novel, “We are allowed to enter the moral dilemmas of fascinating characters whose emotional lives are strung out by the same human frailties, secrets and insecurities we all share,” commented Carol Memmott in USA Today. “Prose skewers politically correct practices as well as the hulking stupidity and paranoia of those who blame other people for their problems,” remarked Connie Ogle in the Miami Herald.
Bart Rangely, the thirteen-year-old protagonist of Bullyville, unwittingly and unwillingly becomes a celebrated “miracle child” when his bout with the flu keeps his mother home from work and prevents her from being killed in the 9/11 attacks on New York. His father, however, perishes, creating keenly conflicted emotions, since he had recently left for another woman. In response to Bart’s tragedy, the boy is offered a scholarship to an elite private prep school, Bailywell Preparatory Academy. The school is also known as Bullyville, and Bart is well aware of its reputation for rampant bullying and pernicious elitism. For his mother’s sake, he accepts the scholarship, but soon begins to experience the torment the school is known for. As the abuse builds, the emotionally distraught Bart finally has no choice but to retaliate, which brings the situation into the light where it cannot be ignored. Assigned to community service, Bart becomes a companion to a terminally ill girl with an unexpected tie to his chief tormentor. When the girl dies, Bart’s troubles only become worse. Prose’s novel “dissects the unspoken dynamics that create bullies and their intended victims,” commented a Publishers Weekly critic. “Bart is a sympathetic character that readers will pull for,” noted Booklist writer Heather Booth. “Connecting grief, rage, and violence, Prose’s insights are piercing and powerful,” concluded the Publishers Weekly contributor. Connie Tyrrell Burns, writing in School Library Journal, concluded that Prose’s “skewering of elite prep-school society while probing the serious issues of the aftermath of 9/11 and of bullying is riveting.”
Prose is also the author of several works of nonfiction. Many of her nonfiction books have focused on issues related to writing, creativity, and the arts. In The Lives of the Muses: Nine Women and the Artists They Inspired, Prose “dissects with verve and nerve in nine strongly composed, brilliantly synthesized, and deliciously anecdotal and opinionated portraits of real-life muses,” commented Donna Seaman in another Booklist review. Among her subjects are Susan Farrell, who inspired genius dancer and choreographer George Balanchine; Yoko Ono, controversial wife of Beatles leader and musician John Lennon; Lou Andreas Salome, who touched the lives of Nietzsche, Rilke, and Freud; Alice Liddell, the young girl who inspired Alice in Wonderland when she asked Lewis Carroll for a story; Gala Dali, the reviled spouse of surrealist painter and modern art master Salvadore Dali; and Lee Miller, once photographer Man Ray’s model but later a respected photographer in her own right. Prose looks carefully at how these women lived their lives and provided encouragement, creative inspiration, sexual attraction, and love to the men who knew them. Throughout, “Prose’s project is to probe the mystery of inspiration, not to solve it once and for all,” noted a Publishers Weekly contributor. A Kirkus Reviews critic named the book an “stute cultural history examining the role that nine women played in the lives of male artists who obsessed over them.” Prose offers a “stylish assessment of nine very different women who appear to have made the alchemy of art possible, with varying degrees of involvement and varying costs to themselves,” observed Stacy Schiff in the New York Times Book Review
Reading like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them, is a “vibrant and pleasurable guide for aspiring writers and ardent readers curious about what makes a masterpiece,” commented Donna Seaman in Booklist. Prose encourages careful, close reading of literary classics as a means of helping writers learn the subtle elements of fine literature and superior writing. She concentrates on eight important areas that should demand the attention of writers: words, sentences, paragraphs, character, dialog, narration, details, and gesture. Throughout, Prose focuses on techniques of great literature and how both beginning and accomplished writers can apply them to improve their own work. Her advice also aids those looking for a deeper appreciation and understanding of works from masters such as Flannery O’Connor, Katherine Mansfield, Raymond Chandler, James Joyce, Jane Austen, Virginia Woolf, and many others. Library Journal reviewer Stacie Brownlie observed that “this book may have a narrow audience but one that will find much to enjoy.” A California Bookwatch reviewer noted that the book offers “close technical analysis of the elements of good writing.” With this work, Prose “does no less than escort readers to a heightened level of appreciation of great literature,” observed Robert Saunder-son in School Library Journal.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Contemporary Literary Criticism, Volume 45, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1987.
Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 234: American Short-Story Writers since World War II, Gale (Detroit, MI), 2001.
American Scholar, autumn, 2002, Cristina Nehring, “Eros Unseated,” review of The Lives of the Muses: Nine Women and the Artists They Inspired, p. 141.
Atlantic Monthly, May, 2000, review of Blue Angel, p. 128.
Booklist, July, 1995, Donna Seaman, review of Hunters and Gatherers, p. 1861; April 15, 1996, Hazel Rochman, review of Dybbuk: A Story Made in Heaven, p. 1444; December 15, 1996, Jim O’Laughlin, review of Guided Tours of Hell, p. 709; June 1, 1998, Hazel Rochman, review of You Never Know: A Legend of the Lamed-Vavniks, p. 1774; April 15, 2000, Brad Hooper, review of Blue Angel, p. 1525; August, 2000, Hazel Rochman, review of The Demons’ Mistake: A Story from Chelm, p. 2144; August, 2002, Donna Seaman, review of The Lives of the Muses, p. 1907; January 1, 2003, review of The Lives of the Muses, p. 788; March 1, 2003, Donna Seaman, review of Sicilian Odyssey, p. 1137; June 1, 2003, Bill Ott, review of After, p. 1762; November 15, 2003, Donna Seaman, review of The Mrs. Dalloway Reader, p. 564; September 15, 2004, Michael Spinella, review of Best New American Voices 2005, p. 205; December 1, 2004, Joanne Wilkinson, review of A Changed Man, p. 619; September 1, 2005, Hazel Rochman, review of Leopold, the Liar of Leipzig, p. 146; October 15, 2005, Donna Seaman, review of Caravaggio: Painter of Miracles, p. 19; September 1, 2006, Donna Seaman, review of Reading like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them, p. 38; September 1, 2007, Heather Booth, review of Bullyville, p. 103.
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, April, 1996, Betsy Hearne, review of Dybbuk, p. 276.
California Bookwatch, December, 2006, review of Reading like a Writer.
Children’s Bookwatch, December, 2005, review of Leopold, the Liar of Leipzig.
Commonweal, May 5, 2006, Tanya Avakian, “Odd Fellows,” review of A Changed Man, p. 30.
Contemporary Review, winter, 2007, review of Caravaggio, p. 532.
Economist, April 18, 1992, review of Primitive People, p. 92.
Entertainment Weekly, April 10, 1992, L.S. Klepp, review of Primitive People, p. 52; August 11, 1995, Vanessa V. Friedman, review of Hunters and Gatherers, p. 48; March 11, 2005, “Goodwill Hunting: Francine Prose Shrewdly Examines High-class Altruists in a Changed Man,” p. 106; November 4, 2005, Gregory Kirschling, review of Caravaggio, p. 79.
Herizons, fall, 2003, Joan Givner, review of The lives of the muses, p. 37.
Horn Book, July-August, 1997, Hanna B. Zeiger, review of The Angel’s Mistake: Stories of Chelm, p. 468; July-August, 1998, Hanna B. Zeiger, review of You Never Know, p. 504; May-June, 2003, Roger Sutton, review of After, p. 357.
Houston Chronicle, September 29, 2002, Logan Browning, “Musings on Nine Muses; Francine Prose Puts New Light on Women Who Inspired Artists,” review of The Lives of the Muses, p. 19; May 8, 2005, Richard H. Costa, “The Politics of Hate; White Supremacist Experiences a Change of Heart,” review of A Changed Man, p. 18.
Interview, October, 2005, Patrick Giles, “Francine Prose: It Could Be Said That without Caravaggio’s Innovations Film Noir Would Not Have Come to Exist. So Who Exactly Was This Convention-busting Painter with a Reach That Has Spanned Four Centuries? A New Book by Francine Prose Aims to Find Out,” interview with Francine Prose, p. 76.
Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 1996, review of Dybbuk, p. 379; April 15, 1997, review of The Angel’s Mistake, p. 648; August 1, 2002, review of The Lives of the Muses, p. 1105; December 15, 2002, review of Sicilian Odyssey, p. 1830; March 15, 2003, review of After, p. 476; September 1, 2003, review of Gluttony: The Seven Deadly Sins, p. 1115; August 1, 2004, review of Best New American Voices 2005, p. 711; January 1, 2005, review of A Changed Man, p. 17; August 15, 2005, review of Caravaggio, p. 903; September 1, 2005, review of Leopold, the Liar of Leipzig, p. 981; August 15, 2007, review of Bullyville.
Kliatt, September, 2007, Paula Rohrlick, review of Bullyville, p. 17.
Knight Ridder/Tribune News Services, April 11, 2001, Marta Salij, interview with Francine Prose, p. 4830.
Library Journal, February 1, 2000, Reba Leiding, review of Blue Angel, p. 118; September 15, 2003, Gary P. Gillum, review of Gluttony, p. 62; October 1, 2004, Kevin Greczek, review of Best New American Voices 2005, p. 75; January 1, 2005, Jim Coan, review of A Changed Man, p. 100; September 15, 2005, Cheryl Ann Lajos, review of Caravaggio, p. 64; June 15, 2006, Stacey Brownlie, review of Reading like a Writer, p. 78.
Los Angeles Times, October 14, 2002, Susan Salter Reynolds, interview with Francine Prose, p. E-11.
Miami Herald, March 9, 2005, Connie Ogle, “Ex-skinhead Joins a Human Rights Group in Hilarious Satirical Novel,” review of A Changed Man.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, March 30, 2005, Jackie Loohauis, “In Life’s Twists, Is Change Real or Just an Illusion?,” review of A Changed Man.
Nation, June 16, 2003, review of After, p. 41.
National Catholic Reporter, October 8, 1993, Joseph Cunneen, movie review of Household Saints, p. 15.
New Leader, December 16, 1996, Rosellen Brown, review of Guided Tours of Hell, p. 24.
New Statesman & Society, January 15, 1993, Carole Angier, review of The Journey, p. 40.
Newsweek, February 10, 1997, Laura Shapiro, review of Guided Tours of Hell, p. 66; April 3, 2000, Malcolm Jones, “Smart Book, Dumb Guy: Updating Blue Angel,” review of Blue Angel, p. 81; October 7, 2002, Susannah Meadows, “Love Affairs to Muse About,” review of The Lives of the Muses, p. 72.
New York Times, March 23, 2000, Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, “The Professor’s Still a Prof, but the Showgirl’s a Student,” review of Blue Angel, p. 8; August 30, 2002, Michiko Kakutani, “For the Modern Artist’s Muse, Love Is Not Enough,” review of The Lives of the Muses, p. 26.
New York Times Book Review, October 18, 1998, Robin Tzannes, review of You Never Know, p. 31; April 16, 2000, Lorna Sage, “Pictures from a Politically Correct Institution,” review of Blue Angel, p. 12; February 25, 2001, Scott Veale, review of Blue Angel, p. 28; September 22, 2002, Stacy Schiff, “Terpsichore, Thalia and Yoko: Francine Prose on the Unsung Lives of Nine Women Who Inspired Well-known Male Artists,” review of The Lives of the Muses, p. 9; March 27, 2005, Liesl Schillinger, “The Survivor and the Survivalist,” review of A Changed Man, p. 14.
People, May 25, 1992, Lisa Shea, review of Primitive People, p. 34; July 31, 1995, Paula Chin, review of Hunters and Gatherers, p. 33; March 7, 2005, Janice Nimura, review of A Changed Man, p. 51.
Publishers Weekly, February 3, 1992, review of Primitive People, p. 62; April 13, 1992, John E. Baker, “Francine Prose,” profile of Francine Prose, p. 38; June 1, 1992, review of The Journey, p. 50; July 26, 1993, review of The Peaceable Kingdom, p. 57; May 15, 1995, review of Hunters and Gatherers, p. 53; February 12, 1996, review of Dybbuk, p. 71; October 28, 1996, review of Guided Tours of Hell, p. 56; April 28, 1997, review of The Angel’s Mistake, p. 76; May 18, 1998, review of You Never Know, p. 79; February 14, 2000, review of Blue Angel, p. 170; August 28, 2000, review of The Demons’ Mistake, p. 83; July 29, 2002, review of The Lives of the Muses, p. 65; July 29, 2002, Sarah F. Gold, “PW Talks with Francine Prose,” p. 66; February 24, 2003, “What Price Protection?,” interview with Francine Prose, p. 72; February 24, 2003, review of After, p. 73; March 24, 2003, review of Sicilian Odyssey, p. 69; August 25, 2003, review of Gluttony, p. 46; October 4, 2004, review of Best New American Voices 2005, p. 68; December 20, 2004, review of A Changed Man, p. 34; December 20, 2004, Anne Sanow, “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” interview with Francine Prose, p. 35; August 8, 2005, review of Caravaggio, p. 226; October 3, 2005, review of Leopold, the Liar of Leipzig, p. 68; April 24, 2006, review of Reading like a Writer, p. 46; August 6, 2007, review of Bullyville, p. 190.
Review of Contemporary Fiction, fall, 1997, Rod Kessler, review of Guided Tours of Hell, p. 232.
San Jose Mercury News, March 30, 2005, Charles Matthews, “A Changed Man Tells What Happens When a Suburban Family Takes in an Unusual Border,” review of A Changed Man.
School Library Journal, April, 1996, Marcia W. Posner, review of Dybbuk, pp. 127-128; August, 1998, Susan Scheps, review of You Never Know, p. 154; September, 2000, Jan Tarasovic, review of Blue Angel, p. 259; October, 2000, Teri Markson, review of The Demons’ Mistake, p. 152; May, 2003, Vicki Reutter, review of After, p. 160; September, 2005, Amy Lilien-Harper, review of Leopold, the Liar of Leipzig, p. 185; August, 2006, Robert Saunderson, review of Reading like a Writer, p. 146; April, 2007, review of Reading like a Writer, p. 71; August, 2007, Connie Tyrrell Burns, review of Bullyville, p. 124.
Spectator, October 11, 2003, Carole Angier, “Dubious Goddesses in Human Form,” review of The Lives of the Muses, p. 48.
Time, April 10, 2000, Michele Orecklin, “A Teacher’s Pet with Fangs: The Ivory Tower Is No Refuge in Francine Prose’s Darkly Comic New Novel,” review of Blue Angel, p. 134.
USA Today, March 31, 2005, Carol Memmott, “Changed Man Is Compelling,” review of A Changed Man, p. 4; November 22, 2005, Carol Memmott, “Caravaggio Uncovers Even More Layers,” p. 4.
Whole Earth, spring, 1999, Patrizia Dilucchio, review of Master Breasts: Objectified, Aestheticized, Fantasized, Eroticized, Feminized by Photography’s Most Titillating Masters, p. 50.
Women’s Review of Books, December, 1995, Carol Le-Masters, review of Hunters and Gatherers, p. 23; March, 2003, Mary Taylor Simeti, “Beauty out of Violence,” review of Sicilian Odyssey, p. 17.
World Literature Today, autumn, 1997, B.A. St. Andrews, review of Guided Tours of Hell, p. 788.
Atlantic,http://www.theatlantic.com/ (March 9, 2008), Katie Bolick, “As the World Thrums: A Conversation with Prose.”
Barnes & Noble.com,http://www.barnesandnoble.com/ (March 9, 2008), Jamie Brenner, interview with Francine Prose.
Blue Flower Arts Web site,http://www.blueflowerarts.com/ (March 9, 2008), biography of Francine Prose.
Bookreporter.com,http://www.bookreporter.com/ (March 9, 2008), interview with Francine Prose.
Bookslut,http://www.bookslut.com/ (March 9, 2008), Michael Schaub, review of A Changed Man.
HarperCollins Web site,http://www.harpercollins.com/ (March 9, 2008), biography of Francine Prose.
Literary Potpourri,http://www.literarypotpourri.com/ (March 9, 2008), Debra L. Cumberland, review of The Lives of the Muses.
Salon.com,http://www.salon.com/ (April 7, 2007), Pam Rosenthal, review of Blue Angel.*