Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Rosellen Brown  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Born: May 12, 1939 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Sites:

E-Mail:


Illinois Connection

Brown moved to Chicago in 1995 and still resides there.

Biographical and Professional Information

Rosellen Brown is an American author, and has been an instructor of English and creative writing at several universities, including the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Houston. She has lived in and written about cities from New York to Houston. Her novel Before and After was adapted into a major motion picture starring Meryl Streep and Liam Neeson.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

Some Deaths in the Delta and Other Poems
ISBN: 0870230700

University of Massachusetts Press. 1970

The Autobiography of My Mother
ISBN: 0385333579

Delta. 1998

Civil liberties lawyer Gerda Stein must contend with a whole new set of problems when her daughter, Renata, reenters her life after an eight-year absence and brings with her her child. Reprint. NYT.

Cora Fry: [Poetry]
ISBN: 0393044556

W W Norton & Co Inc. 1977

1977 W.W. NORTON PUBLISHING HARDCOVER

Civil Wars
ISBN: 0385332920

Delta. 1998

Tragedy thrusts married Lefties Jessie and Teddy Carll into the role of parents when Teddy's rich, bigoted sister and her husband are killed in a car accident and his sister's children move into their home. Reprint. NYT. LJ.

Tender Mercies
ISBN: 0385333323

Delta. 1998

Laura and Dan Courser are a less than perfect, but deeply passionate couple with two young children and lots of plans. Until Dan, displaying the boyish bravado that made Laura fall in love with him, takes the tiller of a boat he can't handle and causes the accident that shatters their lives.

Suddenly there are no more ordinary days or nights. And, in a story filled with astonishing revelations, we witness two people wrestling with a marriage in which all the rules are changed, confronting the guilt and anger, devotion and desire that don't merely survive...but can help heal the wounded heart.

Rosellen Brown creates a compelling portrayal of a family torn apart--and perhaps put back together again--by love.

Before and After: A Novel
ISBN: 0312424418

Picador. 2005

The New York Times Bestseller

A New York Times Notable Book

Carolyn and Ben Reiser moved to Hyland, New Hampshire with their two children for the comforts of rural life. But when the local police chief comes looking for their seventeen-year-old son Jacob to question him about the brutal murder of his girlfriend, the Reisers' lives begin to unravel.

A compelling story that will capture you in the opening scene and hold you through its shocking conclusion, Before and After is a stunning novel that pits parent against parent, brother against sister, family against community, blood loyalty against law-as "deep questions of loyalty, honesty, and love are forced to the surface in this psychologically riveting tale." (Library Journal)

Half a Heart
ISBN: 1587240173

Wheeler Pub Inc. 2001

Rosellen Brown's extraordinary new novel, Half a Heart, tells the story of a former civil rights activist, Miriam Vener, who feels trapped in the comfortable white upper-middle-class life she leads with her family in Houston in the 1980's. That life suddenly shatters with the appearance, after almost eighteen years, of Veronica (Ronnee), her biracial daughter, born of Miriam's passionate affair a generation ago with Eljay, a brilliant black professor at a Mississippi college, who has raised the child ever since. When Miriam introduces her daughter to the utterly white New England town where she summers, and to the Houston society which represents the compromise of her sixties ideals, the results are complicated: What claim does Miriam have on Ronnee after all this time, and what does Ronnee want of her mother now?

Ronnee wrestles with her fury at her mother's mysterious disappearance from her life. With which family -- and which race -- does Ronnee identify?

Half a Heart is a profoundly moving story about estrangement and intimacy, race and privilege, identity and belonging.

Before and After: A Novel
ISBN: 0312424418

Picador. 2005

The New York Times Bestseller

A New York Times Notable Book

Carolyn and Ben Reiser moved to Hyland, New Hampshire with their two children for the comforts of rural life. But when the local police chief comes looking for their seventeen-year-old son Jacob to question him about the brutal murder of his girlfriend, the Reisers' lives begin to unravel.

A compelling story that will capture you in the opening scene and hold you through its shocking conclusion, Before and After is a stunning novel that pits parent against parent, brother against sister, family against community, blood loyalty against law-as "deep questions of loyalty, honesty, and love are forced to the surface in this psychologically riveting tale." (Library Journal)


Awards

-- Rosellen has recieved the following awards:

Award in Literature from American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters

Ingram Merrill Foundation Grant

Janet Kafka Award

John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship

NEA Grants

Bunting Institute Fellowship

Howard Foundation.