Melissa Bank Analysis

Other Literary Forms

(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)

Melissa Bank’s story collection is her first book. She has, however, completed a screenplay based on the book’s title story.


(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)

Melissa Bank won the Nelson Algren award in 1993 for her story “My Old Man.” The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing was on The New York Times best-seller list for more than two months. On her reading tours, she drew standing-room only crowds. Her work has been broadcast on National Public Radio’s “Selected Shorts.” The bidding war that ended with a $275,000 advance for her first book, a collection of short stories which obviously struck a chord with many young women, created the biggest publishing story of 1999. The book was reviewed by every major newspaper in the English-speaking world, and Bank has been interviewed by numerous papers, magazines, television shows, and Internet sites.


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Caldwell, Gail. “Bright Girl, Big City.” The Boston Globe. May 30, 1999, p. D1. Says The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing is the American book industry’s answer to Bridget Jones’s Diary, with the hope that a well-timed trend may constitute “a Zeitgeist, or at least a barrelful of profits.” Argues that the experiences in the book are predictable and the over-the-top one-liners “stick out like drugstore jewelry on a little girl.”

Carey, Lynn. “Hunting and Fishing Frenzy.” The Buffalo News, August 21, 1999, p. 7C. In this interview article, Bank says the father in the stories is mostly autobiographical, but she refuses to discuss the origins of the story about breast cancer. Bank argues against the frequent comparison of her book to British author Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’s Diary.

Chang, Yahlin. “A Hot Young Writer You Can Bank On.” Newsweek, May 31, 1999, 76. A brief account of the success of Bank’s book, with critical comments on its structure and style.

Chonin, Neva. “A Guide Women Can Identify With.” The San Francisco Chronicle, June 22, 1999, p. E1. An interview story that discusses the buzz that developed around Bank’s Zoetrope story months before it was printed. Bank says she is “flattered but flummoxed” by her...

(The entire section is 530 words.)