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Frank Borden Hanes Professor of English and Comparative Literature Emerita



I taught wonderful students at Wayne State University, Michigan State University, and The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. My teaching career, which began with secondary school teaching in English and drama, lasted 53 years. Luckily, I was able to publish during those teaching years–more than 55 books written and edited. Since my retirement from Chapel Hill in 2011, I have added more than a dozen books to that total, ranging from biographies of Emily Dickinson and John Steinbeck to A History of American Literature from 1950 to the Present (2011, John Wiley) and The Routledge Introduction to American Postmodernism (2019). Among the most satisfying projects have been literary biographies on Sylvia Plath, Zelda Fitzgerald, Barbara Kingsolver, Ernest Hemingway, Toni Morrison, and Maya Angelou (2021, John Wiley).In 2012 I was awarded the Hubbell Medal for Lifetime Service to American Literature.



BA and BS in Education, MA, PhD (1957, 1957, 1959, 1963, Bowling Green State University) (Bowling Green, Ohio), magna cum laude with majors in English and minors in American History throughout



  • Hemingway’s Wars: The Public and Private Battles, University of Missouri Press, 2017
  • The Oxford Companion to Women’s Writing in the United States, ed. with Cathy N. Davidson, Oxford University Press, 1995
  • “Favored Strangers:” Gertrude Stein and Her Family, Rutgers University Press, 1994
  • Telling Women’s Lives: The New Biography, Rutgers University Press, 1995
  • Toni Morrison, A Literary Life (Macmillan, 2015)


  • Guggenheim fellowship, 1976
  • Senior National Endowment for the Humanities grant, 1992
  • Bellagio Fellowship (Rockefeller Study Center, Italian residency)   1992, 2002
  • Radcliffe Institute fellowship, 1976
  • Bogliasco Fellowship, Italian residency  2005
  • ACLS grants, many between 1975 and 1990