Melissa Malouf

Dr. Melissa Malouf

“About the Author” could mean so many things! But let me stick to mentioning my Ph. D. in English and American Literature at U. C. Irvine, my going to the typewriter to write fiction after finishing the dissertation on Ben Jonson and theories of satire, my reluctance to give up said typewriter (a “selectric,” no less) until the mid-nineties—i.e., no computer was involved for the first two books, until it came time to re-type It Had to Be You for its paperback edition. “About the Author” also means that I should mention my having been honored with a Pushcart Prize for “The Golden Robe,” which appears in No Guarantees, and my extraordinary time as a Breadloaf Fellow.

Duke Reads

“Since 2008, DukeReads has offered books selected by diverse Duke faculty and experts to give alumni [and others] a chance to hear what Duke is reading and learn insights from favorite Duke personalities.”

Well, I don’t know whether I’m a “favorite personality,” but certainly Ernest Hemingway was, and so was my colleague and friend Reynolds Price. The falling-apart copy of Hemingway’s In Our Time that I brought with me to the first interview dates back to my college days—and remains as exciting and provocative as ever. For the second interview, I was asked to choose among Reynolds’ many books for a DukeReads session close to the one-year anniversary of his death. Though the two books I chose to talk about with NPR’s Frank Stacio are wildly different in so many ways, both raise questions about how we live and think, and, even better, how we might otherwise live and think.

Though I often wish that I had only my boyfriend, a barn, and, yes, a typewriter, I still love my jobs as Associate Professor of the Practice of English and Director of the Office of Undergraduate Scholars and Fellows at Duke. And I am joyfully humbled by having received a Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award.

Melissa Malouf can be contacted at 53994mm @ gmail . com.