Biography (Cyclopedia of World Authors, Fourth Revised Edition)
Allen Kurzweil (KURZ-wil) is one of the most critically acclaimed novelists of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. In fact, Granta magazine named him one of the best American novelists under forty in 1995, when he had published only one novel, A Case of Curiosities. Other honors include a fellowship at the New York Public Library’s Center for Scholars and Writers and a research fellowship at the John Nicholas Brown Center for the Study of American Civilization at Brown University.
Kurzweil was born in the United States but spent his first five years in Milan, Italy. He was highly influenced by his father, a mechanical engineer who taught Kurzweil about the machines that figure so prominently in his fiction. His father died when young Allen was five, and he and his mother moved back to the United States. His mother then met and married ninety-three-year-old William Phillips, cofounder and then editor-in-chief of Partisan Review, thus exposing Allen to the intellectualism found among his stepfather’s friends and colleagues.
After Kurzweil graduated from Yale University, he became a freelance journalist and traveled the world, writing short nonfiction pieces, which he found restrictive. While on assignment at an Aboriginal settlement in Australia, he met the woman who would become his wife. She encouraged him to give up journalism for fiction writing. Kurzweil threw himself into writing novels with...
(The entire section is 398 words.)
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