ADDRESSES: Office—238 Moreland Hall, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331-5302. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: University of Florida, Gainesville, professor, 1988-94; Oregon State University, Corvallis, professor, literature and creative writing, 1994—.
AWARDS, HONORS: Rona Jaffe Foundation Award, 1998, for short fiction; Oregon Book Award for literary nonfiction, 2000.
A Night of Music: Stories, Ecco Press (New York, NY), 1989.
The Night Gardener, Lyons Press (New York, NY), 1999.
Portrait of My Mother, Who Posed Nude in Wartime: Stories, Sarabande (Louisville, KY), 2003.
Work has been anthologized in Best American Short Stories 1985 and 1988, America and I: Stories by American-Jewish Women, The Best of Beacon 1999, and Pushcart Prize XIII. Contributor of short fiction to periodicals, including Georgia Review, New York Times Magazine, Southern Review, Shenandoah, and House Beautiful.
SIDELIGHTS: Marjorie Sandor is an award-winning author of short stories and essays. In A Night of Music, Sandor published tales about dreamers. In such stories as "The Gittel," a mother's tale of warning to her daughter, in which a young Jewish woman cannot fathom the realities of Nazi Germany; in "Victrola," about a Mexican child's growing awareness of her mother's mystery; and in "The Bonbon Man," where a girl's vivid imagination changes her vision of her southern California town. The stories garnered praise for their technique and emotive qualities. Writing in the New York Times Book Review, Robert Minkoff praised the "fresh perspective," "honest imagination," and skill that is apparent in Sandor's work. A Publishers Weekly reviewer described the stories as "rich in pathos and joy, skillful in technique," while Mary Soete of Library Journal found the title story to be "enchanting."
A decade passed before Sandor released her next book-length publication, The Night Gardener, a collection of twenty linked memoirs. In it she considers her parents and her childhood in California, and a family friend referred to as Uncle Maury; she ponders on her marriage and family life in Boston, Florida, and Oregon; and she recounts taking up fly fishing and her unexpected falling in love with another man, which ultimately leads to her divorce from her husband. The work caught the attention of critics. Library Journal reviewer Gina Kaiser noted Sandor's "engaging style," while Booklist commentator Donna Seaman found several of the "essays" to be "fresh, funny, and thoughtful." "Although some of the pieces are more engrossing than others," maintained a Publishers Weekly critic, "[The Night Gardener] is a thoughtful collection by a talented writer."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, September 15, 1999, Donna Seaman, review of The Night Gardener, p. 216.
Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 1999, review of The Night Gardener, pp. 1210-1211.
Library Journal, December, 1989, Mary Soete, review of A Night of Music, p. 175; October 15, 1999, Gina Kaiser, review of The Night Gardener, p. 71.
New York Times Book Review, January 21, 1990, Robert Minkoff, review of A Night of Music, p. 20.
Publishers Weekly, September 1, 1989, Sybil Steinberg, review of A Night of Music, p. 74; August 16, 1999, review of The Night Gardener, p. 69.