Ben Marcus

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Ben Marcus
Marcus at Lannan Center
Marcus at Lannan Center
BornOctober 11, 1967
Alma materNew York University;
Brown University
GenreShort Story, Novel
Literary movementExperimental literature;
SpouseHeidi Julavits
ChildrenDelia Marcus and Solomon Marcus

Ben Marcus (born October 11, 1967) is an American author and professor at Columbia University. He has written four books of fiction. His stories, essays, and reviews have appeared in publications including Harper's, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Granta, The New York Times, GQ, Salon, McSweeney's, Time, and Conjunctions. He is also the fiction editor of The American Reader. His latest book, Notes From The Fog: Stories, was published by Alfred A. Knopf in August 2018.


Marcus grew up in Austin, the son of a retired mathematician and the literary critic and Virginia Woolf scholar Jane Marcus.[1] His father is Jewish and his mother is of Irish Catholic background; Marcus had a Bar Mitzvah.[2]

Marcus received his bachelor's degree in philosophy from New York University and an MFA from Brown University.[3]

Marcus is a professor at Columbia University School of the Arts. He is the editor of The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories, and the fiction editor at The American Reader. For several years he was the fiction editor of Fence.

He lives in New York City and is married to the writer Heidi Julavits.[3] He has two children.


Marcus's influences include Virginia Woolf, Franz Kafka, Donald Barthelme, Richard Yates, Flannery O'Connor, Thomas Bernhard, Padgett Powell, J. M. Coetzee, David Ohle, Kōbō Abe, Garielle Lutz, and George Saunders.

Awards and honours[edit]



Short fiction[edit]

  • The Age of Wire and String (1995), short stories
  • Leaving the Sea (2014), short stories
  • New American Stories (2015), short stories
  • Notes from the Fog, Knopf, (2018), ISBN 978-1101947456 short stories

Other works[edit]

  • Text for the photography book by Kahn & Selesnick Scotlandfuturebog (2002). Aperture Foundation, New York City, ISBN 0-89381-935-2.
  • The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories (2004), editor
  • The Moors (2010)
  • Chemical Seuss, from
  • Thomas Bernhard, from
  • On the Lyric Essay, from
  • Why experimental fiction threatens to destroy publishing, Jonathan Franzen, and life as we know it: A correction, a response to an essay by Mr. Franzen, from


  1. ^ "Ben Marcus: 'We can contain such secret misery and perversion'". 21 February 2014.
  2. ^ "Q&A; with Novelist Ben Marcus, Author of 'The Flame Alphabet' – Tablet Magazine". Archived from the original on 2013-11-11. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
  3. ^ a b "Ben Marcus interview". The Days of Yore. 11 October 2010.
  4. ^ Alison Flood (13 June 2014). "Frank O'Connor prize shortlist pits 'masters' against first-timers". The Guardian. Retrieved June 16, 2014.
  5. ^ "The 2014 Jewish Quarterly-Wingate Prize Shortlist" (Press release). Book Trade. November 27, 2013. Archived from the original on November 30, 2013. Retrieved November 30, 2013.
  6. ^ "2013 Fellows in the United States and Canada". Archived from the original on March 31, 2014. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
  7. ^ "Congratulating the 2013 / 2014 Berlin Prize Recipients". The American Academy in Berlin. Archived from the original on 2015-01-29. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
  8. ^ "Creative Capital Announces 2009 Artists". Creative Capital Foundation. Archived from the original on June 28, 2014. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
  9. ^ "Morton Dauwen Zabel Award". Archived from the original on 2013-08-23. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
  10. ^ "Yaddo Whiting Writers' Award Recipients 1985 - 2012". Archived from the original on April 4, 2013. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
  11. ^ "NEA Fellowships 40-Years" (PDF). National Endowment for the Arts. March 2006. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 19, 2014. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
  12. ^ U Chicago Writers, Ben Marcus,

External links[edit]