Sunday November 18, 2012
A writer’s life
MICHAEL Cunningham was born in 1952 in Cincinnati, Ohio, in what he calls a typical suburban family with a working father and a housewife mother. He has a younger sister.
He grew up in Pasadena, Los Angeles County, in the state of California, did his bachelor’s in English literature at Stanford University and his master of fine arts in creative writing at the University of Iowa.
His early stories were published in the 1980s in established literary journals such as the Atlantic Monthly and Paris Review.
He received the University of Iowa’s Michener Fellowship from the University of Iowa in 1982, and a US National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 1988.
His first book, Golden States, was published in 1984 by Crown Publishers but critical success only came six years later with A Home At The End Of The World, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
He received the Guggenheim Fellowship in 1993 and five years later published The Hours, a homage to Virginia Woolf’s 1925 classic tale of one ordinary day through different eyes, Mrs Dalloway.
The Hours won Cunningham the 1999 Pulitzer Prize and Pen/Faulkner Award for fiction.
It was made into an Academy Award-winning 2002 movie of the same name, starring Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep and Julianne Moore.
In 2004, Cunningham was asked to adapt A Home At The End Of The World for film and the movie starring Colin Farrell was directed by Michael Mayer.
His most recent book is By Nightfall, written two years ago and inspired by Death In Venice, Thomas Mann’s tale of an ageing roue.
Cunningham is a senior lecturer at Yale University.
Recently single, with no children, he lives in New York, his home of over 30 years, and is 150 pages into a new novel. – The Straits Times, Singapore/Asia News Network
Michael Cunningham shares his thoughts