Female; married; children: two daughters. Education: Purdue University, B.A. (sociology and social work), M.A. (English); Iowa Writers Workshop, M.F.A., 1992.
Home—Tallahassee, FL. Office—Dept. of English, Florida State University, 325 Williams Bldg., Tallahassee, FL 32306-1580. E-mail—[email protected].
Writer and educator. Florida State University, Tallahassee, assistant professor of English. Worked as an elementary school teacher and a social worker.
James Michener fellowship; Indiana Arts Commission grant.
The First Paper Girl in Red Oak, Iowa, and Other Stories, Doubleday (New York, NY), 2000.
Mermaids on the Moon (novel), Doubleday (New York, NY), 2002.
Contributor to periodicals and literary journals, including Atlantic, Gettysburg Review, Southern Review, and Five Points; work represented in anthologies, including New Territory: Contemporary Indiana Fiction.
WORK IN PROGRESS:
The Last Summer of Peace, for Doubleday.
Elizabeth Stuckey-French's The First Paper Girl in Red Oak, Iowa, and Other Stories is a collection of twelve stories featuring a number of quirky characters, most of them Midwesterners and people who make bad choices. Among them are a woman who pays a gas station attendant to keep her and her children company on a cross-country road trip, a psychic who finds missing pets, and a scuba-diving female police officer who searches for dead bodies in the murky waters of polluted rivers.
In reviewing the collection for Austin Chronicle Books, Martin Wilson found "Electric Wizard" to be the "best story." A student commits suicide, and his parents come to his poetry teacher asking for his work as proof that he was driven by genius. The student never wrote any poems, however, and the teacher is torn between telling them the devastating truth or a lie that will preserve their vision of their son.
A Publishers Weekly reviewer noted that fiction writers are now forced to compete with bizarre situations and characters that populate daytime talk shows and concluded by saying that Stuckey-French "bests those spectacles of the everyday absurd, and does so with style and verve."
Mermaids on the Moon, Stuckey-French's debut novel, was called "wonderfully quirky" by a Publishers Weekly contributor. The novel centers on the mysterious disappearance of Grendy, a minister's wife and former performer in a synchronized swimming exhibition that was a tourist attraction in Florida many years ago. Library Journal's Molly Gorman compared Mermaids on the Moon with the writing of Fannie Flagg and wrote, "as refreshing, crisp, and tangy as a summer drink, this is a beguiling read."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2002, review of Mermaids on the Moon, p. 609.
Library Journal, June 15, 2002, Molly Gorman, review of Mermaids on the Moon, p. 96.
Publishers Weekly, April 24, 2000, review of The First Paper Girl in Red Oak, Iowa, and Other Stories, p. 64; June 3, 2002, review of Mermaids on the Moon, p. 61.
School Library Journal, December, 2000, Susanne Bardelson, review of The First Paper Girl in Red Oak, Iowa, p. 169.
Atlantic Unbound,http://www.theatlantic.com/ (June 11, 1998), Katie Bolick, "Wise Kids, Childish Adults: A Conversation with Elizabeth Stuckey-French."
Austin Chronicle online,http://www.austinchronicle.com/ (September 29, 2000), Martin Wilson, review of The First Paper Girl in Red Oak, Iowa, and Other Stories. *