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Maine Writers Index - Detail   (Return to List)

Doris Grumbach (1918 - )

Genre: General Fiction

Novelist, essayist, and critic Grumbach, born in New York City, lives in Sargentville, Maine, but does not consider herself a Maine writer. She has a degree in philosophy from New York University and an M.A. in Medieval Literature from Cornell (1940).

In the early 1940s, Grumbach worked for Mademoiselle magazine as a proofreader and for Architectural Forum in jobs from proofreader to associate editor. In 1943, she joined the Navy as a WAVES officer. After the war, she and her husband eventually settled in Albany, NY, where, in 1957, she began teaching English at the Albany Academy for Girls, and from 1960-1971 was an English professor at the College of Saint Rose. She left her husband in 1971, taking a job as literary editor and columnist for The New Republic in Washington, D.C. After the magazine was sold in 1973, she taught at American University as a professor of American literature and wrote columns for the New York Times Book Review and for the Saturday Review. In the mid-1980s, she and her business and life partner, Sybil Pike, opened a used bookstore called Wayward Books, which they moved to Sargentville, Maine in 1990. More biographical information is available through the New York Public Library.

Her novels include Chamber Music (1979), The Missing Person (1981), The Ladies (1984), The Magician's Girl (1987), and The Book of Knowledge (1995).

Other books are The Spoil of Flowers; The Short Throat, the Tender Mouth; and The Company She Kept (1967; about writer Mary McCarthy); and memoirs Coming into the Endzone; Extra Innings (1993); Fifty Days of Solitude (1994), Life in a Day (1996); The Presence of Absence: On Prayers and An Epiphany (1999), and the Pleasure of Their Company (2000). A chapter of Life in a Day is available through the Washington Post.

Last Update: 05/31/2007

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