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Jayne Anne Phillips Edit Profile

literature and language professor , writer

Jayne Anne Phillips, American Writer ( art: literature)writer. Recipient Sue Kaufman award American Academy and Institute Arts and Letters, 1980, Literature award, 1997; fellow National Endowment for Arts, 1978, 85; Guggenheim fellow, 1990.Mem. Authors Guild, Poets, Playwrights, Editors, Essayists and Novelists association. Member Authors Guild, Poets, Playwrights, Editors, Essayists and Novelists association. Democrat.


Phillips, Jayne Anne was born on July 19, 1952 in Buckhannon, West Virginia, United States. Daughter of Russell Randolph and Martha Jane (Thornhill) Phillips.


2 children, Theo Thornhill, Soren Phillips Stockman. Stepsons— Ben, Noah. Bachelor of Arts English, West Virginia, U., 1974. Master of Fine Arts, U. Iowa, 1978.


Phillips has held teaching positions at several colleges and universities, including Harvard University, Williams College, and Boston University. Short stories Sweethearts (1976) Counting (1978) How Mickey Made It (1981) The Secret Country (1982) Black Tickets (1979) Fast Lanes (1984) During the mid-1970s, she left West Virginia for California, embarking on a cross-country trip that would lead to numerous jobs, experiences, and encounters that would greatly affect her fiction, with its focus on lonely, lost souls and struggling survivors. Sweethearts was followed in 1978 by a second small-press collection, Counting, issued by Vehicle Editions.

Counting earned Phillips greater recognition and the St. Lawrence Award. Her next collection, Black Tickets, published by Delacorte/Seymour Lawrence in 1979, was her first commercial success and brought her national attention as a talented and important writer. Black Tickets contained three types of stories: one page fictions, inner soliloquies, and family dramas.

These stories focused on her characters' loneliness, alienation, and unsuccessful searches for happiness. Black Tickets is mentioned in the 2006 lectures for the Modern Scholar series installment From Here to Infinity, by Professor Michael D. C. Drout, who refers to her style—which he asserts was a direct influence on William Gibson's 1984 cyberpunk novel Neuromancer—as a "headlong rush of story and description". Phillips followed her first novel, Machine Dreams, with Fast Lanes, a 1988 collection of ten stories, all first-person narratives.

Shortly after this, the president of ABC Daytime offered her the head writing position on the ratings challenged soap opera Loving. After serious consideration, Phillips declined the offer.


  • She is currently Professor of English and Founder/Director of the Rutgers–Newark Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program. In 1976, Truck Press published her first short story collection Sweethearts, for which Phillips earned a Pushcart Prize and the Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines Fels Award. Phillips' next novel was MotherKind (2000), winner of the Massachusetts Book Award, a story of intergenerational love and struggles within a family facing many changes.

    Lark and Termite, her fourth novel, was published by Knopf in 2009 to extremely positive reviews and has been selected as one of five finalists for the National Book Award in fiction.



Member of Poets, Playwrights, Editors, Essayists and Novelists association, Authors Guild.


Married Mark Brian Stockman, May 26. Children: Theo Thornhill, Soren Phillips Stockmanstepchildren: Ben, Noah.

Russell Randolph Phillips

Martha Jane (Thornhill) Phillips

Mark Brian Stockman

Theo Thornhill Phillips

Soren Phillips Stockmanstepchildren: Ben Phillips

Noah Phillips