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"… trying to find out how to balance tragedy and comedy": an Interview with Lisa Alther

Alice Clark, Sarah Delmas, Nicole Moulinoux, Gérald Préher et Frédérique Spill
p. 283-299

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Lisa Alther

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Ce document sera publié en ligne en texte intégral en décembre 2018.

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Born in Tennessee, Lisa Alther is not a typical Southern writer. After leaving the South for her studies, she spent several years in the North and in various foreign countries like France which she used as the backdrop for her 1995 novel Five Minutes in Heaven. She has written six novels, a memoir and a narrative history, Blood Feud: The Hatfields and the McCoys: The Epic Story of Murder and Vengeance (2012). Recently, she and her long-standing friend, French artist Françoise Gilot, have brought out About Women: Conversations between a Writer and a Painter (2015), inspired by Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell’s artistic relationship. The volume is a composite memoir that includes pictures and reminiscences, helping the readers get a sense of the importance of both Alther’s and Gilot’s backgrounds in the shaping of their artistry. The collection Stormy Weather and Other Stories published in 2012 reflects Alther’s interest in place, the stories being set in the South, in the North, but ...

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Alice Clark, Sarah Delmas, Nicole Moulinoux, Gérald Préher et Frédérique Spill, « "… trying to find out how to balance tragedy and comedy": an Interview with Lisa Alther », Journal of the Short Story in English, 67 | 2016, 283-299.

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Alice Clark, Sarah Delmas, Nicole Moulinoux, Gérald Préher et Frédérique Spill, « "… trying to find out how to balance tragedy and comedy": an Interview with Lisa Alther », Journal of the Short Story in English [En ligne], 67 | Autumn 2016, mis en ligne le 01 décembre 2018, consulté le 17 mars 2018. URL :


Alice Clark

Sydney Alice Clark is an Associate Professor of literature at the University of Nantes, France. Her short stories have appeared in French and American journals and anthologies such as Bridges: a Global Anthology of Short Stories, Temenos Publishing; Short Story, University of Texas at Brownsville and Résonances, Université Paris 8. A collection of poems in French and English was published in Imaginaires, University of Nantes, France. Her short story manuscript collection, A Darker Shade of Light, was awarded first prize (Prix Manuscrit Technikart) at the Paris Book Fair (March 2011). She is a member of the Jury for English Short Story Fiction, organised by the CIRHILL and the CRILA at the University of Angers and teaches Creative Writing at the University of Nantes. Her work on Shakespeare and French theatre (Le Théâtre romantique en crise, Shakespeare et Nerval, Paris: Harmattan, 2005) was short-listed for a research prize by the Franco-British and Franco-American Research and Higher Education Associations (SAES and AFEA). Numerous articles on short stories and theatre have been published in French and American ­literary reviews. She has also co-authored a book on the Anglo-Saxon short story (La nouvelle anglo-saxonne, une étude psychanalytique, Paris: Hachette).

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Sarah Delmas

Nicole Moulinoux

Nicole Moulinoux is Professor of American Literature at Rennes 2 University (France). She has published many articles on Faulkner and collaborated in the William Faulkner Pléiade Edition. She is also a specialist on contemporary American Literature and has written prefaces and introductions for the French translations of various works. She is the Founder and President of the William Faulkner Foundation (Rennes, France) and Editor of the Collection Études Faulknériennes. In a forthcoming book, she will examine and evaluate the French Face of Faulkner.

Gérald Préher

Gérald Préher is Professor of American Studies at Lille Catholic University (France) and a member of the CIRPaLL (University of Angers, France). He defended a doctoral dissertation on southern literature and has written essays on various 19th and 20th century writers. He co-­edited several collections of essays on American literature, is the associate editor of the Journal of the Short Story in English and the general editor of the review Résonances. He has a forthcoming monograph on Elizabeth Spencer and the volume dedicated to Richard Ford in the Understanding Contemporary American Literature series.

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Frédérique Spill

Frédérique Spill is Associate Professor of American literature; she teaches at the University of Picardy – Jules Verne in Amiens, France. She is the author of L’Idiotie dans l’œuvre de William Faulkner (Presses Universitaires de la Sorbonne-Nouvelle, 2009). She recently contributed to Critical Insights: The Sound and the Fury (Salem Press, 2014) and to Faulkner at Fifty: Tutors and Tyros (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014). She has also published articles in French and in English on Flannery O’Connor, Richard Ford, Cormac McCarthy, Robert Penn Warren, Jonathan Safran Foer, Nicole Krauss, Russell Banks and Willa Cather. For the past years her research and publications have mainly been focusing on the work of novelist, short story writer and poet Ron Rash. Her contributions to Conversations with Ron Rash (Mississippi UP) and to Summoning the Dead: Critical Essays on Ron Rash (U of South Carolina P) will be published in 2017. She is currently completing a monograph on Ron Rash’s work.

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