Robert A. Morace
Contemporary Fiction, Scottish Fiction, American Literature, The Short Story, and Film
The first day of class, my tenth-grade English teacher, Mr. Lacopo, told me to wipe the smile off my face or he’d throw me through the wall. Although I didn’t know I had been smiling, I followed his suggestion, as well as another he made a few months later: that I should consider studying English in college. I have never stopped reading (as in reading voraciously, although I no longer read Tom Corbett Space Cadet) and I have never stopped studying literature, trying to understand how it works and how it came to be written and received. I can’t really think of myself as a teacher without thinking of myself as a student, and just the way I ask my students to write about literature in order to understand it, I do the same: I wouldn’t know it, or know it well, if I didn’t write about it. Reading, teaching, writing: the golden triangle. To make a livelihood out of what I love to do, reading and passing on my knowledge and, even more, my enthusiasm for what I read to others: it doesn’t get better than that. Doing all this at Daemen has helped. I originally came to Daemen to teach American literature. (Funnily enough, the subject of my PhD dissertation, Frank Norris, was the author of The Octopus, a novel I first read in Mr. Lacopo’s tenth-grade American Literature class.) But although I still do teach American Literature, the college and the English Department have been flexible enough to allow me to pursue other interests-- contemporary British (especially Scottish) fiction and film—and then to share these interests with students. So, my thanks to them—and to Mr. Lacopo and indeed to all my English teachers.
Robert Morace is the author of the books Irvine Welsh (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting (Continuum, 2001) The Dialogic Novels of Malcolm Bradbury and David Lodge (Southern Illinois University Press,1989) and John Gardner: An Annotated Secondary Bibliography (Garland,1984) and co-editor (with Kathryn VanSpanckeren) of John Gardner: Critical Perspectives (Southern Illinois University Press, 1982). In addition to numerous book reviews and articles in standard reference series such as Dictionary of Literary Biography and Contemporary Novelists, he has published numerous essays in various scholarly journals and books on John Cheever, Louis Erdrich, John Gardner, postmodernism, contemporary Scottish literature, film and American Puritanism. Morace has also taught in Warsaw, Poland, lectured in India, has long served as Consulting Editor for the journal Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction and in 1996 won the University of Wyoming's Amy and Eric Burger Prize for best theater essay, on the Chilean writer Ariel Dorfman's play, Death and the Maiden. He is currently editing a collection of essays on John Cheever and completing a study of the post-devolutionary Scottish fiction. He will teach American literature and film in Beijing, China, in the fall of 2010.
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