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Faculty


Jim Grimsley

Jim Grimsley

Senior Resident Fellow in Creative Writing

N315 Callaway Center
Creative Writing Program
Emory University
537 Kilgo Circle
Atlanta, GA 30322 

404-727-4991 (Office)
404-727-4672 (Fax)
jgrimsl@emory.edu(Email) 

Spring 2014 office hours: 

By appointment Monday before noon or Tuesday before 2 p.m.


Jim Grimsley is a playwright and novelist. Jim's first novel, Winter Birds, was published by Algonquin Books in 1994. The novel won the 1995 Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and received a special citation from the Ernest Hemingway Foundation.  Jim's second novel, Dream Boy, won the American Library Association GLBT Award for Literature (the Stonewall Prize) and was a Lambda finalist.  His third novel, My Drowning, was released in January 1997 by Algonquin Books and for it he was named Georgia Author of the Year. His fourth novel, Comfort & Joy, was published in October, 1999, and was a Lambda finalist. A fantasy novel, Kirith Kirin, was published by Meisha Merlin Books in 2000 and won the Lambda in the science fiction and horror category for 2001. He has published short fiction in The Ontario Review and Asimov's and his stories have been anthologized in The Year's Best Science Fiction, Volume 16, Men on Men 4, Men on Men 2000, and Best Stories From the South, year 2001. Boulevard, published in 2002 by Algonquin, was again a Lambda finalist in the literature category and won Jim his second Georgia Author of the Year designation. His novel, The Ordinary, a science fiction novel published in 2004 by Tor Books, won a Lambda in the science fiction/fantasy/horror category. His latest two novels are The Last Green Tree, published by Tor Books of New York in 2006, and Forgiveness, published by the University of Texas Press as part of the inaugural James. A. Michener Fiction Series. His story collection, Jesus Is Sending You This Message, was published in September 2008 by Alyson Books.

Jim received the Lila Wallace/Reader's Digest Writers Award for his body of work in 1997, and has twice been a finalist for the Rome Prize Fellowship in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (2003-2004). In 2005 he won an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

He served as playwright in residence at About Face Theatre in Chicago under a National Theatre Artist Residency Program grant from Theate Communications Group/Pew Charitable Trust (1999-2004); he has been playwright in residence at 7Stages Theatre in Atlanta since 1986. In 1987 he received the George Oppenheimer/Newsday Award for Best New American Playwright for Mr. Universe.  His collection of plays, Mr. Universe and Other Plays,was published by Algonquin Books in 1998, and was a Lambda finalist for drama.

His books have been translated into German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Hebrew, and Japanese.


Dream Boy

Dream Boy

My Drowning

My Drowning

Mr. Universe

Mr. Universe

Winter Birds

Winter Birds


Dream Boy

Comfort & Joy

My Drowning

Boulevard

Mr. Universe

Kirith Kirin

Winter Birds

The Ordinary


Dream Boy

The Last Green Tree

My Drowning

Forgiveness


Jesus is Sending You This Message: Stories


From Jim Grimsley's Winter Birds, Algoquin Books of Chapel Hill

Soon after that you moved again, to the house you live in now, the white house in the fields by the river, where you wander by the river and dream of another life. Moving doesn't mean much to you any more. Changing houses is like changing clothes: you shuffle the same furniture into different rooms, different patterns. This new house has a circle of doors. When Amy saw the house, that day when Mama brought all of you to it to help clean, the circle was the first thing she noticed. She stood in the doorway watching Mama scour a stain on the baseboard. "I just thought of something," Amy whispered, and she lead you from the living room to the kitchen to the back porch to the bedroom to the bathroom to the other bedroom back to the living room where Mama still bent over the same stain. Mama straightened to look at trees shifting beyond the window. "See," Amy said. "The doors make a circle. Boy is that ever lucky." 

"We can play tag in here," you said. 

"You try playing tag and see what your Mama does," Mama said, dipping her cloth into the pine-scented water. "I can hear every word you say, even when you whisper." 

Aloud, Amy said, "You could run around this house forever, and never get caught, Mama. Did you hear that part? The doors make a circle, and the rooms go round and round. Papa can't catch you in here." 

The shadows of the branches slid up and down the floor. Mama watched them. Her face made you sad. She started to scrub again after a while. "Maybe he won't be chasing me in this house, Amy Kay. He's been so quiet for so long. He doesn't act like he wants to fight any more." 

Amy nodded dutifully. You nodded too. But Mama kept her face turned to the wall. 

You moved into the Circle House at the beginning of November. You will live in it only for the one winter. But you will remember this house better than any of the ones that come after it, and in your dreams you will pass many times through the circle of doors, watching the light fall through the windows, hearing your Mama walk from room to room as if rehearsing her path.


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