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Modern Literature Collection Authors

A guide to the Modern Literature Collection's most prominent authors and collections, with related resources.

Biography

federmanRaymond Federman (May 15, 1928 – October 6, 2009) was a French–American novelist and academic, known also for poetry, essays, translations, and criticism. He was a writer in the experimental style, one that sought to deconstruct traditional prose. This type of writing is quite prevalent in his bookDouble or Nothing, in which the linear narrative of the story has been broken down and restructured so as to be nearly incoherent. Words are also often arranged on pages to resemble images or to suggest repetitious themes.

Federman was born in Montrouge, France, and emigrated to the U.S. in 1947. After serving in the U.S. Army in Korea and Japan from 1951 to 1954, he studied at Columbia University under the G.I. Bill, graduating in 1957. He did his graduate studies at U.C.L.A., receiving his M.A. in 1958, and Ph.D. in Comparative Literature in 1963, with his doctoral dissertation on Samuel Beckett.

He taught in the French Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara from 1959 to 1964, and in the French Department at The State University of New York at Buffalo from 1964 to 1973, and as a fiction writer in the English Department at SUNY-Buffalo from 1973 to 1999. He was promoted to the rank of Distinguished Professor in 1990, and in 1992, appointed to the Melodia E. Jones Chair of Literature, where he served until retiring in July 1999. In 2000, he was appointed as Distinguished Emeritus Professor.

Federman died of cancer at the age of 81 and in May 2010, his final new English novel, SHHH: The Story of a Childhood, was released by Starcherone Press.

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