Sukenick, Ronald 1932-2004

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SUKENICK, Ronald 1932-2004


See index for CA sketch: Born July 14, 1932, in Brooklyn, NY; died of inclusion body myositis, July 22, 2004, in New York, NY. Educator and author. Sukenick was an avant-garde author known for his self-referential style and efforts to push the boundaries of fiction writing. His undergraduate work was completed in 1955 at Cornell University, after which he earned a master's in 1957 and Ph.D. in 1962, both from Brandeis University. During the 1960s, he taught at a variety of institutions, starting at Hofstra University for a year and followed by several years teaching throughout Europe. Returning to America in 1966, he taught English at the City College of the City University of New York for a year, followed by a year at Sarah Lawrence and another year as a writer in residence at Cornell. During the early 1970s, Sukenick was at the University of California at Irvine before finally settling down at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he joined the faculty as an English professor in 1975. Sukenick began publishing his own works in the 1960s. After Wallace Stevens: Musing the Obscure (1967), a work based on his Ph.D. dissertation, was released, his first novel, Up, came out in 1968. This marked the beginning of a long string of works in which the author experimented with everything from the nature of fiction to how his words were typeset on the page. Common themes in his fiction—both novels and short stories—was the loss of traditional American values and the breakdown in communication between people. Among these works are The Death of the Novel, and Other Stories (1969), 98.6 (1975), Blown Away (1987), Doggy Bag (1994), and the e-book Cows (2001). Sukenick also tried to encourage other writers through such efforts as the creation of the Fiction Collective in 1974 and his founding of the American Book Review in 1977. At the University of Colorado he served as director of the publications center from 1986 to 1999, and he was also the publisher of Black Ice magazine, beginning in 1988. He retired from teaching in 2001.



Chicago Tribune, July 29, 2004, section 3, p. 9.

Los Angeles Times, July 28, 2004, p. B11.

New York Times, July 25, 2004, p. A23.

Times (London, England), September 17, 2004, p. 37.

Washington Post, July 26, 2004, p. B5.