James Alan McPherson, American writer, Died at 72


James Alan McPherson was born on September 16, 1943, and died on July 27, 2016.

He was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American short story writer and essayist.

James Alan McPherson was a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a MacArthur Fellowship.

He was a member of the permanent faculty of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa.

McPherson won the 1978 Pulitzer Prize for fiction for his short story collection Elbow Room, becoming the first African-American to win the Pulitzer for fiction.

James was the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship in 1981.

McPherson has taught English at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Harvard University, and Yale University.

McPherson lectured in Japan with Dr. Jerald Walker at Meiji University and Chiba University.

During 2000, John Updike selected his short story “Gold Coast” for his collection Best American Short Stories of the Century (Houghton Mifflin).

During October 2011 McPherson was honored as the inaugural recipient of the Paul Engle Award from the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature.

The Engle Award honors is for individual who, like Engle, longtime director of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and co-founder of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, represents a pioneering spirit in the world of literature through writing, editing, publishing, or teaching, and whose active participation in the larger issues of the day has contributed to the betterment of the world through the literary arts.

James Alan McPherson passed away at 72 years old.