John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation

UNH English Professor Named Guggenheim Fellow

By Erika Mantz
UNH News Bureau

May 2, 2001

DURHAM, N.H. -- Charlotte Bacon, University of New Hampshire assistant professor of English, has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to continue work on a new novel set in India.

The award-winning author of "Lost Geography" and "A Private State," Bacon will spend a year away from teaching to write the novel, "which juxtaposes two women, two countries, two eras in an effort to better explore how travel reveals facets not only of an individual's character, but of an entire culture."

The novel will intersperse the story of Anna, a 20th century American sculptor, with excerpts from the journals of Emily, a translator on the Great Trigonometrical Survey as it traveled through India in the 1840s. Bacon says the idea for the novel came from research she did for her thesis using the diaries of British women who had lived in India in the 19th century. She currently is on leave from UNH on a creative writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

"A fellowship like this allows me the flexibility to focus on a creative project without feeling like I'm letting my students down," Bacon says. "I love teaching, and I get very involved with my students."

Bacon has taught fiction writing at UNH since 1998. She won the 1998 PEN/Hemingway Award for best first book of fiction for her short story collection, "A Private State," and was recently published in Real Simple magazine. She graduated from Harvard University with a bachelor of arts and received a master of fine arts degree from Columbia University.

The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation was established in 1925 by U.S. Senator Simon Guggenheim and his wife as a memorial to a son who died. The foundation offers fellowships to further the development of scholars and artists by assisting them to engage in research in any field of knowledge and creation in any of the arts. This year the foundation awarded 183 fellowships for a total of almost $6.6 million from a pool of 2,728 applicants.

Back to UNH News Bureau