- Category : Writers-Fiction
- Type : ME
- Profile : 5/1 - Heretical / Investigator
- Definition : Split - Small (11,23)
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Migration 2
Professor of English at Cornell University since 1976. Her first novel, "Love and Friendship," was published in 1976. Lurie is the author of ten novels, including "Foreign Affairs," which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1985. Her most recent book is "The Last Resort," 1998. Three of Lurie's novels - "Foreign Affairs," " The War Between the Tates" and "Imaginary Friends" have been adapted for television.
Alison Lurie is the older of two daughters of Harry and Bernice (Stewart) Lurie. Her father, Latvian-born, was a scholar and a teacher of social work. He became the founder and executive director of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds. He and Bernice, a former journalist with the Detroit Free Press, were both socialists. The Luries moved to New York City when Alison was four. Soon afterward, they moved to the suburb of White Plains in Westchester County. She and her sister Jennifer attended mostly private schools. She briefly attended a public high school before entering a progressive preparatory school, Cherry Lawn School in Darien, Connecticut.
She began to write at an early age and was praised for expressing creative and imaginative ability, "the only thing she had going for her." Alison was skinny, plain, odd-looking, and deaf in one ear from a birth injury with resulting atrophy of the facial muscles that by her own account, "pulled my mouth sideways whenever I opened it to speak and turned my smile into a sort of sneer."
She graduated from Cherry Lawn School in 1943 and Radcliffe College in Cambridge, Massachusetts with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1947. She continued to write even while working full-time as an editorial assistant for the Oxford University Press in New York City. She became a professor of English at Cornell University, where she teaches courses in creative writing and folklore and children’s literature.
Her first published novel was "Love and Friendship," 1962. Lurie’s first best-seller and fifth novel was "The War Between the Tates," 1974. She won the Pulitzer Prize for her seventh novel, "Foreign Affairs," 1984. In addition to the Pulitzer, she has won the Priz Femina Etranger, (in 1989 for "About Lorin Jones," and has received grants from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations and a Fiction Award from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Alison Lurie married Jonathan Peale Bishop, a graduate student in English at Harvard University, on 9/10/1948. They have threes sons, John, Jeremy and Joshua Bishop. She separated from her husband in 1975, and a year or so later formed a close relationship with novelist Edward Hower, whom she later married. She teaches only part-time at Cornell, in the fall semester, so that she can spend some months of the year in London, and then in Key West, Florida. She and Edward travel together to writer’s workshops and make joint presentations.