Authors like Allan Gurganus

Allan Gurganus


Allan Gurganus is an American novelist, short story writer, and essayist whose work, which includes Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All and Local Souls, is often influenced by and set in his native North Carolina.

Gurganus was born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. He first trained as a painter, studying at the University of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. He served three years as a message decoder with the United States Navy during the Vietnam War, as a punishment for draft evasion, and began writing during his time on the USS Yorktown. He achieved the rank petty officer second class. Following military service, he graduated from Sarah Lawrence College where he studied with Grace Paley. He studied with John Cheever, John Irving and Stanley Elkin at the University of Iowa in the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Cheever sold Gurganus's short story "Minor Heroism" to The New Yorker without telling Gurganus beforehand. It was the first story The New Yorker had ever published about a homosexual character (the magazine's founder Harold Ross had instructed his staff that there was no such thing as a homosexual). Gurganus himself is a gay man.