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JGB vita


P.O. Box 1104
Sweet Briar, VA  24595


Johns Hopkins University                  M.A. in the Writing Seminars,1988
Louisiana State University                  M.A. in English,1984  Phi Kappa Phi
Tulane University                                  B.A. in English,1982  Phi Beta Kappa


Sweet Briar College                                    1994 – present
Director of Creative Writing,
Julia Jackson Nichols Professor of English
Courses: Fiction Workshops (A Sense of Place, The Fantastic in Fiction), Advanced Fiction Workshop, Introduction to Creative Writing, Biographical Fiction, Contemporary International Writers, Thought & Expression

Johns Hopkins University                        1993 – 1994
Courses: Graduate Fiction Workshop

Goucher College                                    1993
Visiting Assistant Professor
Course: Fiction Workshop

Patuxent Publishing Co.                        1989 -1993
Staff Writer-News Editor for Columbia Flier/Howard County Times

Johns Hopkins University                        1988 -1989
Courses: Rudiments of Fiction

Johns Hopkins University                       1987 -1988
Teaching Fellow
Courses: Contemporary American Letters

North Carolina State  University             1984 -1987
Lecturer in English
Courses: Introduction to Fiction; Composition








A Thousand Miles From Nowhere. Novel. Lee Boudreaux Books, Little, Brown & Co., 2016.


Audubon’s Watch. Novel. Houghton Mifflin Co., September, 2001.
Paperback edition: Houghton Mifflin (Mariner Books): October, 2002.


The Wrecked, Blessed Body of Shelton Lafleur. Novel. Houghton Mifflin Co., April, 1996.
British edition: Hodder & Stoughton, July 1996. Paperback edition: Avon Books, March 1997.
Large-print edition: Thorndike Press, July 1997.


Decorations in a Ruined Cemetery. Novel. Houghton Mifflin Co., January, 1994.
British edition: Hodder & Stoughton, July 1995.  Paperback edition: Avon Books, January 1995 Large-print edition: Thorndike Press, May 1994). Reissued paperback edition:  Houghton Mifflin Co., September, 2001.


Short Stories and Novel Excerpts

“Audubon’s Watch,” Louisiana Cultural Vistas. New Orleans, LA. Winter 2001-2002.
“Laps,” Shenandoah. Spring, 1998.
“The Great Sea,” Louisiana Cultural Vistas. New Orleans, LA. Spring, 1996.
“The Fallen Bridge,” Louisiana Cultural Vistas. New Orleans, LA. Fall, 1994.
“This Summer,” The Sun. Durham, NC. July, 1993.
“The Mower,” Village Advocate. Chapel Hill, NC. June 23, 1985.




The Road Home, Episode Five. CBS. 1994.


Book Reviews

“Characters With Happiness Just Beyond Reach,” Boston Globe, March 14, 2010, Review of Richard Bausch’s Something Is Out There: Stories.

“The Collision Between Body and Soul, Artfully Told,” Boston Globe, January 3, 2010. Review of Jim Harrison’s The Farmer’s Daughter.

“A Life Salvaged, Offering Few Lessons,” Boston Globe, September 13, 2009.  Review of Cheeni Rao’s In Hanuman’s Hands.

“Dark, Dreamlike Tales,” Boston Globe, August 2, 2009. Review of Aleksandar Hemon’s Love and Obstacles.

“Alternative Living,” Washington Post, January 4, 2009. Review of Carolyn Chute’s The School on Heart’s Content Road.

“Lodge Looks Soberly at Death’s ‘Long Silence,’” Boston Globe, October 19, 2008. Review of David Lodge’s Deaf Sentence.

“In ‘Man’ Auster Conjures Crises Real and Fantastic,” Boston Globe. August 24, 2008. Review of Paul Auster’s Man in the Dark.

“Out of Place,” Boston Globe. April 6, 2008. Review of Jhumpa Lahiri’s Unaccustomed Earth.

“Audubon’s Excellent Adventures,” Boston Globe. November 28, 2004. Review of Richard Rhodes’ John James Audubon: The Making of An American.

“Bird Man of America,” Chicago Tribune,  May 30, 2004. Review of William Souder’s Under a Wild Sky: John James Audubon and the Making of “The Birds of America” and Duff Hart-Davis’s Audubon’s Elephant: America’s Greatest Naturalist and the Making of “The Birds of America”.

“Slavery and Survival,” Chicago Tribune, January 18, 2004. Review of Edward P. Jones’s The Known World.

“Branded,” Washington Post, August 17, 2003. Review of Joyce Carol Oates’ The Tattooed Girl.

“A Fatal Family Feud Plays Out in the Louisiana Bayous,” Chicago Tribune, June 30, 2002. Review of John Biguenet’s Oyster.

“A Tale of Love and Intolerance,” Chicago Tribune, July 8, 2001. Review  of Bart Schneider’s Secret Love.

“Separate and Unequeal,” Chicago Tribune, February 11, 2001. Review  of Rilla Askew’s Beulah Land and Kathleen Cambor’s In Sunlight, In A Beautiful Garden.

“Simple Truths: A Convincing and Charming Portrait of a Young Boy’s Life,” Chicago Tribune, May 28, 2000. Review  of Tony Earley’s Jim the Boy.

“A Young Girl’s Troubled, Twisting Journey to Adulthood,” Chicago Tribune, September 12, 1999. Review of Elizabeth Graver’s The Honey Thief.

“A Sheltered Life,” Chicago Tribune, January 3, 1999. Review  of Eudora Welty: Complete Novels; Eudora Welty: Stories, Essays, & Memoir; and Ann Waldron’s Eudora: A Writer’s Life.

“Two Families Search for A Way Out of Despair,” Chicago Tribune, August 30, 1998. Review  of John Burnham Schwartz’s Reservation Road.

“Dividing Line,” Chicago Tribune, December 14, 1997. Review  of David K. Shipler’s A Country of Strangers: Blacks and Whites in America.

“Exploring Our Paradoxical Need for Separation and Connection,” Chicago Tribune, November 16, 1997. Review  of J.M. Coetzee’s Boyhood: Scenes from Provincial Life.

“Formula for Success,” Chicago Tribune, November 2, 1997. Review of Caleb Carr’s The Angel of Darkness.

“An Honest Portrait of the Joys and Pains of Romance,” Chicago Tribune, October 12, 1997. Review  of Nicholas Delbanco’s Old Scores.

“Grand ‘Plan,’” Chicago Tribune, September 28, 1997. Review of Lawrence Naumoff’s A Plan for Women.

“Yesterday’s Adolescent,” Chicago Tribune, September 7, 1997. Review of Elizabeth Graver’s Unravelling.

“Search for Identity,” Chicago Tribune, July 27, 1997. Review of Chris Offutt’s The Good Brother.

“Bradford Morrow’s Rocky Mountain Gothic Mystery,” Chicago Tribune, March 9, 1997. Review  of Bradford Morrow’s Giovanni’s Gift.

“Men Behaving Badly,” Chicago Tribune, February 16, 1997. Review of Donald Antrim’s The Hundred Brothers and Stephen Dixon’s Gould.

“Melancholy Magic,” Chicago Tribune, December 14, 1996. Review of Philip Graham’s Interior Design.

“Race and Transformation,” Chicago Tribune. October 27, 1996. Review of Osha Gray Davidson’s The Best of Enemies: Race and Redemption in the New South and Jane Lazaar’s Beyond the Whiteness of Whiteness: Memoir of a White Mother of Black Sons.

“Taking the Measure of His Soul,” Los Angeles Times, March 17, 1996. Review of Albert Murray’s The Seven-League Boots.

“An Unmetaphoric Illness,” Los Angeles Times, July 16, 1995. Review of Reynolds Price’s The Promise of Rest.



“Losing My New Orleans,” Essay on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition. September 5, 2005.

“Other Bodies, Ourselves: The Mask of Fiction,” Essay in Creating Fiction, Story Press, 1999. Edited by Julie Checkoway.

“Master of Contradiction,” Chicago Tribune, Sunday, October 25, 1998. Essay on Portugese Nobel Laureate José Saramago.

“In the art of fiction, it’s a challenge to make reality ring true,” The Boston Globe, July 13, 1997.  Essay on biographical fiction.

Numerous news and feature articles, essays, book reviews, and columns in the Columbia Flier, the Howard County Times, the Laurel Leader, the Raleigh News & Observer, Southern Changes, Spectator Magazine.



Louisiana Endowment for The Humanities 2002 Book of the Year for Audubon’s Watch.

George A. and Eliza Gardner Howard Foundation Fellowship, 1998-1999.

Steinbeck Award for Decorations in a Ruined Cemetery, 1996, U.K.
(Awarded for the best novel of the year published in the United Kingdom by a writer under forty years old.)

Regional Winner—Granta magazine Best Young American Novelists competition, 1996.

The Lillian Smith Book Award for Decorations in a Ruined Cemetery, 1994.
(Awarded by the Southern Regional Council for the year’s best work of fiction about the South.)

Lyndhurst Prize, 1993. Three-year fellowship from The Lyndhurst Foundation.


Colgate University, Washington and Lee University, University of Georgia, The American University, Tulane University, Loyola University, McNeese State University, Johns Hopkins University, North Carolina State University, Hollins University, The Seven Hills School (Cincinnati, Ohio), Howard County (Maryland) Poetry and Literature Society, Sweet Briar College, J. Sergeant Reynolds Community College, Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival, Vero Beach (Florida) Center for the Arts, University of Richmond, Eudora Welty Festival (Jackson, Mississippi), Columbia Festival of the Arts, Virginia Festival of the Book, Music and Words Conference (New Orleans, Louisiana), Baltimore Writers Alliance Conference, Writers at Work Conference (Salt Lake City, Utah), Sewanee  Writers Conference, and readings  throughout  the United States while on book tour.



Reviews of my novels have appeared in the following newspapers and magazines:

New York Times, New York Times Book Review, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Washington Times, Detroit Free Press, Boston Globe, The London Times, The Daily Telegraph, New Statesman and Society, Newsday, New York Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Southern Living, The Times Literary Supplement, Baltimore Sun, San Francisco Chronicle, Houston Post, New Orleans Times-Picayune, Charlotte Observer, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Virginian Pilot and Ledger-Star, Dallas Morning News, Orlando Sentinel, Memphis Commercial Appeal, Roanoke Times & World News, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Toledo Blade, Jackson Clarion-Ledger, Austin American-Statesman, Asheville Citizen-Times, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Albany Times-Union, Greensboro News & Record, Santa Fe New Mexican, St. Petersburg Times, Cincinnati Enquirer, Dayton Daily News, Hartford Courant, Seattle Times, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, The Hudson Review, The Southern Review, Tulanian, The Southern Quarterly





“Embodying and Transgressing Race in the Novels of John Gregory Brown,” by Artemis Michaelidou. Journal of American Studies, 40 (2006), 3, 573–592. Cambridge University Press.

ABSTRACT: This essay discusses corporeal and racial representation in the work of John Gregory Brown. Placing the discussion within the rich literary tradition of the American South, the author focuses on the male protagonists of his first two novels – Decorations in a Ruined Cemetery (1994) and The Wrecked, Blessed Body of Shelton Lafleur (1996) – and examines why Brown’s characters constantly shift between different racial positions, and how notions such as racial purity or fixed subjectivity are exposed and interrogated. The analysis also addresses physical defect, and explores how Brown destabilizes the ideal of the body as a privileged locus of authoritative wholeness. The author argues that, as acultural and racial signifier, the body in Brown’s work is linked with fluidity and fragmentation, and that the boundaries between whiteness and blackness are continuously reshaped by the characters’ ambiguous perceptions of themselves as subversive, multi-racial subjects. The author’s conclusion maintains that both novels offer new insights into the interaction between corporealrepresentation and racial identity, which make an important contribution to the tradition of American and, particularly, Southern literature.


Race Mixing: Southern Fiction Since the Sixties by Suzanne Whitmore Jones. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004. Pp. 18, 68, 211, 220-229, 242, 280. Relevant pages discuss the novel Decorations in A Ruined Cemetery in the context of the author’s examination of race in contemporary Southern novels.






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