David Plante 1940–
American novelist and short story writer.
Plante's early novels are purposely derivative in technique and influenced by the work of other writers. For example, some critics see The Ghost of Henry James, with its elegant prose and psychological subtleties, as Plante's interpretation of what James would have written as a contemporary author. Nathaniel Hawthorne's work inspired Slides. And the turgid, convoluted prose of Plante's next three novels, Relatives, The Darkness of the Body, and Figures in Bright Air, shows the influence of Gertrude Stein's writings.
Plante finds his own voice in the low-key and largely autobiographical saga of a Catholic French-Canadian family in New England. This loosely connected trilogy begins with The Family and continues in The Country and The Woods. Most critics praise the emergence of Plante's own distinct style: a dense, humourless prose in which he examines the tangle of family relationships.
(See also CLC, Vol. 7 and Contemporary Authors, Vols. 37-40.)