Francine Prose biography

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Francine Prose
© Marion Ettinger

Francine Prose

Francine Prose Biography

Francine Prose is the author of twenty-one works of fiction including, the highly acclaimed Mister Monkey; the New York Times bestseller Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932; A Changed Man, which won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize; and Blue Angel, which was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her works of nonfiction include the highly praised Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife, and the New York Times bestseller Reading Like a Writer, which has become a classic. The recipient of numerous grants and honors, including a Guggenheim and a Fulbright, a Director's Fellow at the Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, Prose is a former president of PEN American Center, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is a Distinguished Writer in Residence at Bard College.

Francine Prose's website

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Interview

Francine Prose discusses our obsession with celebrity and redemption and why she feels that we are losing an important part of our culture - the ability to feel that others are human beings just as we are, though they may look different and have a different set of beliefs.

You open your novel A Changed Man with a character most of your readers probably have never met: the ex-skinhead Vincent Nolan. Was this "changed man" the inspiration for the book?
I certainly began with him. I was on the subway in New York once, and I saw these two very young skinheads -- all dressed up, with jackboots and shaved heads -- and I noticed that they looked terrified, like they'd been dropped from Mars. It was very clear to me that they were out of their element; this was not their home territory at all. That made me curious about who they were and what kind of people they were. Then I began to do research.

It's strange how life imitates art. Later I was in an elevator in Manhattan, and there was a middle-aged guy with his hair growing over tattoos on his head -- it looked as if a swastika had been there, and the laser removal hadn't done a good job. I thought this is my character, 10 years later.

Were there other topics you were keeping in mind as you wrote?
My aim was to write about this character, but I wasn't necessarily writing about neo-Nazis. I was writing about what it means to be a good person, what it means to change -- and how our culture hypes this change, this growing. As I...

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Books by this Author

Books by Francine Prose at BookBrowse
The Vixen jacket What to Read and Why jacket Mister Monkey jacket Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Francine Prose 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

  • David   Hopen

    David Hopen

    David Hopen is from Hollywood, Florida. He graduated from Yale College and earned his master's degree from the University of Oxford. The Orchard is his debut novel. (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Vixen

    Try:
    The Orchard
    by David Hopen

  • Christopher Buckley

    Christopher Buckley

    Christopher Buckley is a novelist, essayist, humorist, critic, magazine editor and memoirist. His books include Thank You for Smoking, The Judge Hunter, and The Relic Master. He worked as a merchant seaman and White House ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    A Changed Man

    Try:
    Boomsday
    by Christopher Buckley

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