Cunningham, Michael

Born: 1952

Ohio connection: Birth


Author, screenwriter, Michael Cunningham was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cunningham grew up in Cincinnati and La Canada, California. He was educated at Stanford University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in English Literature in 1975. He then went on to earn an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa in 1982. He soon published his first novel, Golden States (1984).

In 1999, Cunningham won the Pulitzer Prize for Literature in 1999 for his 1998 novel The Hours, a creative reimagining of Virginia Woolf’s 1925 novel Mrs. Dalloway. A film version of The Hours was directed by Stephen Daldry and featured Julianne Moore, Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep. The film was released to general critical acclaim and received nine Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, and a win for Nicole Kidman as Best Actress. A film version of A Home at the End of the World was directed by Michael Mayer, and featured Colin Farrell, Robin Wright Penn, Dallas Roberts and Sissy Spacek.

Some of Cunningham’s other books include A Home at the End of the World (1990), Specimen Days (2005), By Nightfall (2010), and The Snow Queen: A Novel (2014). In 2015 A he published Wild Swan and Other Tales, a short story collection. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The Paris Review, and other publications. Cunningham’s story “White Angel” was chosen for Best American Short Stories 1989, and another story, “Mister Brother,” appeared in the 2000 O. Henry Collection.

Michael Cunningham is currently a senior lecturer in the English department at Yale University and lives in New York.

Pulitzer Prize, PEN/Faulkner Award and the Stonewall Book Award for Literature (1999) for The Hours; Whiting Writers Award (1995), a Guggenheim Fellowship (1993), a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship (1988), and a Michener Fellowship from the University of Iowa (1982).