James Alan McPherson

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James Alan McPherson (born September 16, 1943 in Savannah, Georgia) is a United States short story writer and essayist, a recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship[1] and a MacArthur Fellowship,[2] and a member of the permanent faculty of the Iowa Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa.[3]



McPherson won the 1978 Pulitzer Prize for fiction for his short story collection Elbow Room, becoming the first African-American to win the Pulitzer for fiction.[4] He was the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship in 1981.[2] His work has appeared in 27 journals and magazines, seven short-story anthologies, and The Best American Essays.[citation needed] In 1995 McPherson was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.[citation needed] He has been educated at Morgan State University, Morris Brown College, Harvard Law School, The University of Iowa's Writers' Workshop, and the Yale Law School.[4] He has taught English at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Harvard, Yale and also lectured in Japan at Meiji University and Chiba University. He is now a professor in the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop.[4][3]

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