Marianne Wiggins Analysis

Other Literary Forms

(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)

During Marianne Wiggins’s career, she has produced several novels: Babe (1975), Went South (1980), Separate Checks (1984), John Dollar (1989), Eveless Eden (1995), and Almost Heaven (1998).


(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)

Marianne Wiggins’s works have produced considerable critical comment and recognition. In 1989, she received fiction grants from both the National Endowment for the Arts and the Whiting Foundation. Based on her novels and short stories written since 1989, Wiggins is classified as one of the most imaginative and daring writers of fiction.

Other literary forms

(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

Marianne Wiggins has written short stories, published in periodicals such as The Yale Review, Granta, Los Angeles Times Magazine, Ploughshares, Harper’s, Woman’s Journal, and The Paris Review. Her published collections of short fiction include Herself in Love, and Other Stories (1987), Learning Urdu (1990), and Bet They’ll Miss Us When We’re Gone (1991). She has reviewed books for such newspapers and journals as the Los Angeles Times Book Review, The Washington Post, The Nation, and New Statesman. She wrote the introduction for Other Edens (1994), featuring Nick Waplington’s photography, and has written essays for other books on photographic subjects, including From the Heart: The Power of Photography—A Collector’s Choice (1998) and Still: Cowboys at the Start of the Twenty-first Century (2008).


(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

In 1989, Marianne Wiggins received the prestigious Whiting Writers’ Award and a National Endowment for the Arts grant for fiction. Her novel John Dollar received the University of Rochester’s Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize, which honors the most outstanding novel each year by an American woman. In 1996, Wiggins’s novel Eveless Eden was short-listed for the Orange Prize for fiction. Evidence of Things Unseen was a National Book Award finalist for fiction in 2003 and a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2004, and it received the 2004 Commonwealth Club Prize. The Shadow Catcher was a 2007 National Book Critics Circle Award fiction finalist and was also named a best book of the year by Publishers Weekly, The Christian Science Monitor, the San Francisco Chronicle, and other major periodicals. Some of Wiggins’s books have been best sellers and many have been translated into several languages, including German, Dutch, Hebrew, Czech, and Swedish.


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Field, Michele. “Marianne Wiggins.” Publishers Weekly 235 (February 7, 1989): 57-58. Written just prior to the uproar over The Satanic Verses, this article supplies many biographical details, many of which help to give a background for interpreting Wiggins’s work. The article also provides a synopsis of Wiggins’s writing career as well as what has motivated her “explicit and frightening” writing.

Garrett, George. “On the Lam in Wales.” The New York Times, June 30, 1991. A review of Bet They’ll Miss Us When We’re Gone that discusses Wiggins’s focus on the persistence and failure of memory, the magic and mystery of language, and the pathetic limits of thinking.

James, Caryn. “Marianne Wiggins and Life on the Run.” The New York Times, April 9, 1991, p. C13. This brief article is partly a discussion of Bet They’ll Miss Us When We’re Gone and partly a commentary on the reasons why Wiggins believed that it was necessary, ultimately, to leave Rushdie. It discusses Wiggins’s feelings while in hiding and how the experience affected her writing, especially by increasing and intensifying its autobiographical nature.

James, Caryn. “Wiggins: Author, Feminist, and Wife of Rushdie.” The New York Times, April 4, 1990, p. C17. This article gives...

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