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Annette Gilson

329 O'Dowd Hall
(248) 370-2262 

 Associate Professor 
Ph.D. Washington University in St. Louis

Areas of study

I <3 Fiction! (That's facebook-speak; in addition to teaching and writing contemporary fiction, I'm also the webmaster for the Department of English facebook site. Friend us.

Currently, I'm revising A Book of Mirrors, a generational novel about an unconventional New York City family of artists and activists, fortune-tellers and college professors. Rosalind and Peter, who met in Barcelona and lived together in Turkey when they were young, are now the estranged parents of college-bound Sophie, a girl who loves nothing more than to wander the old neighborhoods of New York. When Sophie meets Randy, a young man who has dropped out of high school to work as a Teamster, she begins to question her place in American society and the kinds of privileges she has always taken for granted. Sophie's fortune-telling grandmother prophesies that Sophie will embark on a journey that will change her forever, and the events that follow send shock-waves through the whole family.

I also write Young Adult novels and am especially partial to the fantasy genre. As a child I loved the work of Ursula K. LeGuin, Madeleine L'Engle, L. Frank Baum, and the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson. I just sent the revised version of my fantasy novel, Skyrider, to my agent, Kelly Sonnack, of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency.

Another novel is currently unfolding: The Oracle of Knowing and Unknowing, set in the Metro Detroit area. So far its characters include mystics and psychopaths, feral dogs and ghost children. (I feel both eagerness and trepidation as I learn more about these characters' lives, their conscious and unconscious desires, their known and unknown fears.)

In addition to writing and teaching fiction, I also review contemporary fiction for a number of periodicals, including Publishers Weekly, Rain Taxi, and American Book Review. You can check out my blog musings here.

Major Fields
Twentieth-century British fiction; Modernism; Feminism and Women's writing;
Postcolonial literature; Contemporary American fiction; Fiction Writing


New Light, Black Heron Press (2006)

“Internalizing Mastery’: Jean Rhys, Ford Madox Ford, and the Fiction of Autobiography,” Modern Fiction Studies, Volume 50, Number 3, (2004): 632-656.  (refereed)

“Peter Cunningham,” Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 267: Twenty First Century British and Irish Novelists, (2002): 57-67.

“‘Some particular Pantomimic ravishment’: ‘Broken Wings’ and the Performance of Success,” in The Finer Thread, the Tighter Weave: Essays on the Short Fiction of Henry James, eds. Joseph Dewey and Brooke Horvath (Purdue University Press, 2001): 149-159.

“Disseminating ‘Circumference’: The Diachronic Presence of Dickinson in John Ashbery’s ‘Clepsydra’,” Twentieth Century Literature, (Winter 1998): 484-505.

“Ways to Give Way,” Southern Poetry Review, (Spring 1993).