Weiss, Jonathan M.

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Weiss, Jonathan M.


Education: Columbia College, B.A., 1964; Yale University, Ph.D., 1973.


Home—Waterville, ME. Office—Colby College, 4000 Mayflower Hill, Waterville, ME 04901-8840. E-mail—[email protected].


Colby College, Waterville, ME, associate dean of faculty and director of Off-Campus Study, 1991-2000, NEH/Class of 1940 Distinguished Professor of Humanities, French, and professor of French and Italian.


French-Canadian Theater, Twayne Publishers (Boston, MA), 1986.

(Editor, with Joseph I. Donohoe, Jr.) Essays on Modern Quebec Theater, Michigan State University Press (East Lansing, MI), 1995.

(With Jane Moss) French-Canadian Literature, Association for Canadian Studies in the United States (Washington, DC), 1996.

Irène Némirovsky: Biographie, Félin/Kiron (Paris, France), 2005, published as Irène Némirovsky: Her Life and Works, Stanford University Press (Stanford, CA), 2007.


Jonathan M. Weiss is an expert in French literature of the twentieth century, as well as literary history and the culture and literature of Quebec. He serves as professor of French and Italian at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, where he was also associate dean of faculty and director of Off-Campus Study from 1991 to 2000. Weiss has written several volumes on French-Canadian theater and literature, such as French-Canadian Theater and French-Canadian Literature, but is best known for Irène Némirovsky: Her Life and Works, a biography about the Russian-born Jewish writer who immigrated to France with her family shortly after World War I and became a Catholic. Weiss researched for his biography extensively, going through Némirovsky's journals and applying close readings to her novels. The appearance of Némirovsky's 1940 novel, Suite Francaise, which was published in 2006 to critical acclaim and strong sales, greatly spurred the interest in the author and made Weiss's biography very timely. Gene Shaw in the Library Journal remarked: "This is a cruel story of a woman whose complex and contradictory life and writings highlighted the unforgiving times in which she lived." A Publishers Weekly reviewer called the book "a fine introduction to her work."



Choice, April 1, 1996, R.F. Falk, review of Essays on Modern Quebec Theater, p. 1322; April 1, 2007, C.B. Kerr, review of Irène Némirovsky: Her Life and Works, p. 1346.

Library Journal, August 1, 2006, Gene Shaw, review of Irène Némirovsky, p. 87.

Publishers Weekly, July 17, 2006, review of Irène Némirovsky, p. 146.

Reference & Research Book News, February 1, 2007, review of Irène Némirovsky.

Theatre History in Canada, spring, 1988, review of French-Canadian Theatre, pp. 101-104

Theatre Journal, May 1, 1997, Don Perkins, review of Essays on Modern Quebec Theater, p. 253.

Theatre Research in Canada, fall, 2000, review of Essays on Modern Quebec Theatre, pp. 201-203.

Times Literary Supplement, January 5, 2007, "Suite Portraits," p. 23.