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Photo by Roger Haile
Born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina in 1947 to a teacher and businessman, Gurganus first trained as a painter, studying at the University of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. His paintings and drawings are represented in private and public collections. Gurganus has illustrated three limited editions of his fiction. During a three-year stint onboard the USS Yorktown during the Vietnam War, he turned to writing.
Since 1989, Allan Gurganus’s novels, stories and essays have become a singularly unified and living body of work. Known for dark humor, erotic candor, pictorial clarity and folkloric sweep. He has been cmpared to Faulkner, Welty and Twain. Gurganus lives in a small town in North Carolina. He told a recent interviewer, “Novelists don’t start life till turning forty. By that measure, as an artist, I am a blushing twenty six year old. I’ve only just begun…”