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AudreyNiffenegger-AuthorEntryFinal

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 5 months ago

MS Word format: EncyclopediaEntryAN-11-08-06.doc

 

Audrey Niffenegger (1963 - ). Audrey Niffenegger is the author of one novel, The Time Traveler's Wife (2003), and two graphic novels (or "novel in pictures”), The Three Incestuous Sisters (2005), and The Adventuress (2006). She has also authored several short stories, among them "The Night Bookmobile" (2004).

Niffenegger was born in 1963 in South Haven, Michigan.1 She is an artist and professor in the Interdisciplinary Book Arts MFA Program at the Columbia College Chicago Center for Book and Paper Arts, which she helped found in 1994.2 She teaches writing, letterpress printing, and fine edition book production and holds a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1985) and an MFA from Northwestern University (1991).3 Niffenegger has received several awards for her printmaking, including an Isabella A. Brown Travelling Fellowship from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her art is represented at the Printworks Gallery in Chicago, Illinois.4

 

The Time-Traveler's Wife became a phenomenal success, thanks largely to the purchase of its film option even before the book was signed by independent publisher MacAdam/Cage.5 It was subsequently chosen as a Today Show Book Club selection.6 The novel tells the love story of Clare, an artist, and Henry, a librarian with a strange genetic disorder which causes him to involuntarily time-travel. The novel is told in first-person by both Henry and Clare, and each chapter is prefaced by a note telling the date and ages of each characters. Henry’s age fluctuates throughout, as he travels forward and backward in time.

 

Niffenegger says of the novel, “I wanted to write about waiting, but since waiting is essentially a negative (time spent in the absence of something) I wrote about all the things that happen around the waiting.”7 This theme of waiting is expressed in the introduction, in which we are introduced to both protagonists in terms of Henry’s time-traveling. The book is peppered with references to art, literature, and music.

 

Niffenegger's visual style, exhibited in her graphic novels, has been compared to that of Edward Gorey; she also cites Aubrey Beardsley as a major influence in her work.8

 

The Three Incestuous Sisters tells of three sisters living together by the sea, and what happens when a lighthouse-keeper’s son enters their lives. The book includes spare prose, but relies primarily on the impact of the full-page aquatints to tell the story.9

 

The Adventuress is also depicted in aquatints. Its protagonist is an alchemist’s daughter who undertakes a dreamlike adventure in which she is kidnapped, transforms into a butterfly, and falls in love with Napoleon Bonaparte.

 

(entry written by Starr Hoffman)


 

Notes

 

1. Printworks Gallery. “Artists: AUDREY NIFFENEGGER.” Printworks Gallery Website. http://www.printworkschicago.com/artists/niffen/niffen.htm

2. Anonymous. “INTERVIEW: Audrey Niffenegger.“ Writer Unboxed, 10 March 2006. http://writerunboxed.com/2006/03/10/interview-audrey-niffenegger/

3. Printworks Gallery; Anonymous. “A Biography of Audrey Niffenegger.” Book Browse, 1 September 2003. http://www.bookbrowse.com/biographies/index.cfm?author_number=928

 

4. Printworks Gallery, “Artists: AUDREY NIFFENEGGER.”

 

5. Writer Unboxed; Milliot, Jim. “MacAdam/Cage Looks to Leverage Novel's Success.” Publisher’s Weekly, 20 October 2003. http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA330218.html ; Jemielity, Sam. “Time Trials: Author and Columbia Prof Audrey Niffenegger’s Wild Trip.” Gravity, Issue04, 2004. http://www.gaugestudios.com/trabajar/professional/gravity/issue04/inorbit_time.php

 

6. Milliot, “MacAdam/Cage Looks to Leverage Novel's Success.”

 

7. Flanagan, Mark. “Audrey Niffenegger Interview.” About.com, 7 December 2003. http://contemporarylit.about.com/cs/authorinterviews/a/niffenegger.htm

 

8. Flanagan, “Audrey Niffenegger Interview.” ; Anonymous. “Meet the Writers: Audrey Niffenegger.” Barnes & Noble Website, 2003. http://www.barnesandnoble.com/writers/writerdetails.asp?z=y&cid=1106335#interview ; Thomas, Jen. Review of “The Three Incestuous Sisters.” Afterimage, Jan-Feb 2006. Reproduced in: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2479/is_4_33/ai_n16108129

 

9. Thomas, Review of “The Three Incestuous Sisters.”


 

Bibliography

 

Anonymous. “A Biography of Audrey Niffenegger.” Book Browse, 1 September 2003. http://www.bookbrowse.com/biographies/index.cfm?author_number=928

Anonymous. “INTERVIEW: Audrey Niffenegger.“ Writer Unboxed, 10 March 2006. http://writerunboxed.com/2006/03/10/interview-audrey-niffenegger/

Anonymous. “Meet the Writers: Audrey Niffenegger.” Barnes & Noble Website, 2003. http://www.barnesandnoble.com/writers/writerdetails.asp?z=y&cid=1106335#interview

Flanagan, Mark. “Audrey Niffenegger Interview.” About.com, 7 December 2003. http://contemporarylit.about.com/cs/authorinterviews/a/niffenegger.htm

 

Jemielity, Sam. “Time Trials: Author and Columbia Prof Audrey Niffenegger’s Wild Trip.” Gravity, Issue04, 2004. http://www.gaugestudios.com/trabajar/professional/gravity/issue04/inorbit_time.php

 

Milliot, Jim. “MacAdam/Cage Looks to Leverage Novel's Success.” Publisher’s Weekly, 20 October 2003. http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA330218.html

 

Printworks Gallery. “Artists: AUDREY NIFFENEGGER.” Printworks Gallery Website. http://www.printworkschicago.com/artists/niffen/niffen.htm

 

Thomas, Jen. Review of “The Three Incestuous Sisters.” Afterimage, Jan-Feb 2006. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2479/is_4_33/ai_n16108129

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