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David Plante Biography

(1940– ), The Ghost of Henry James, Slides, The Francoeur Family, The Family, The Woods, The Country

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Ellis’ [Edith Mary Pargeter] ‘Peters Biography to Portrait of Dora (Portrait de Dora)

American novelist, born in Providence, Rhode Island. He attended the University of Louvain in Belgium. His first novel, The Ghost of Henry James (1970), was followed by Slides in 1971; both paid tribute to the great masters of American literature such as James and Hawthorne. Much of his fiction, such as the autobiographical series of novels The Francoeur Family, including The Family (1978), The Woods (1981), and The Country (1987), reflects his background (he is of French colonial and Blackfoot Indian descent) as well as his Roman Catholic upbringing. His novels range from the experimental mode of early works such as The Darkness of the Body (1974) and Figures in Bright Air (1976) to the more direct confessional tone of The Foreigner (1984) and The Catholic (1986). These later works add to themes of religion and the family that of desire and complex emotional/sexual relationships; the connecting factor is often guilt. The discovery of homosexual desire is a recurrent theme. He is also the author of Difficult Women (1983), a memoir of his friendship with three illustrious women including Jean Rhys. He has contributed short fiction to anthologies such as God (1992).

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