Brian Morton biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Brian Morton
Photo: David Kumin

Brian Morton

Brian Morton Biography

Brian Morton is the author of five novels, including Starting Out in the Evening, which was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and was made into an acclaimed feature film, and A Window Across the River, which was a Book Club selection of the Today show. He teaches at New York University, the Bennington Writing Seminars, and Sarah Lawrence College, where he also directs the writing program. He lives in New York.



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Interview

Brian Morton discusses Florence Gordon, his 2014 novel about a woman who has lived life on her own terms for seventy-five defiant and determined years, only to find herself suddenly thrust to the center of her family's various catastrophes.

How did the idea for Florence Gordon originate?

Florence came first, before I had a picture of any of the other characters, before I had even a vague idea of the story. I really don't know why I started writing about her. She just showed up. The other characters took more time to come into focus. One of the most enjoyable surprises that occurred during the writing of it was the gradual deepening of the relationship between Florence and her granddaughter, Emily. I really hadn't anticipated that at all.

The title character is a feminist firebrand who made a name for herself as a women's rights activist and theorist in the 1970s. Was she modeled on a famous female in history?

No, she wasn't. I had a clear picture of Florence's contemporaries: I knew who she'd hung out with; I knew who her friends and rivals were. I'm thinking of people like Ellen Willis, Vivian Gornick, Alix Kates Shulman. But she wasn't modeled on anyone—and she'd be offended by the suggestion that she was!

What do you think of the preconception that male writers can't accurately write the female voice?

I'm not really sure that there is such a preconception—or at any rate, I don't think there should be. After all, has ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Brian Morton at BookBrowse
Florence Gordon jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Brian Morton but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Rabih Alameddine

    Rabih Alameddine

    Rabih Alameddine is the author of the novels Koolaids, I, the Divine, The Hakawati, An Unnecessary Woman and most recently, The Angel of History; also, the story collection, The Perv. He divides his time between San Francisco... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Florence Gordon

    Try:
    An Unnecessary Woman
    by Rabih Alameddine

  • John Banville

    John Banville

    John Banville was born in Wexford, Ireland, in 1945. He was educated at a Christian Brother's school and St Peter's College in Wexford. After leaving college he worked for Aer Lingus in Dublin, Ireland - which gave him the ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Florence Gordon

    Try:
    The Blue Guitar
    by John Banville

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Book Discussion
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A story of war and medicine, of finding love in the sweeping tides of history, and of the mistakes we make.

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Readers Recommend

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