Michael Cunningham was born in Ohio, grew up in Los Angeles, and has lived in New York City's Greenwich Village as an adult. He graduated from Stanford and the Iowa Writer's Workshop (1978). After the publication of his first novel, he had 10 years of failure while he worked as a waiter before his second novel, the successful A HOME AT THE END OF THE WORLD (1990), found an interested publisher after a story of Cunningham's appeared in The New Yorker in 1988. He is the recipient of a 1995 Whiting Writers' Award. His 1998 novel, THE HOURS, won the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the PEN/Faulkner Prize and was made into an acclaimed film in 2002. A critically revered writer who commands a wide readership, Cunningham is also widely considered to be one of America's premier gay writers.
"Cunningham's sentences are...something to behold...."
"BY NIGHTFALL is an interior work that externalizes its agonies. Cunningham puts us inside a man's head, allowing us to look out at his life, which is more satisfying than using events to let us look inward. It's not only that we understand Peter or sympathize with him; in some ways we become him. We know, in part, what's going to happen, in that fateful, fearful way we know things about ourselves once we've started down a particular road. And the particular road here is desire."
"Cunningham can really write...."
From the Publisher
Peter and Rebecca Harris have settled into a comfortable mid-life--with their careers as an art dealer and editor, respectively, blossoming and their son in college--until Rebecca's look-alike brother with a history of drug problems shows up and makes Peter question his artists, their work, his career and nearly everything else. (general fiction).
In his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel THE HOURS, Michael Cunningham crafted a powerful multi-generational novel about three women whose lives were changed by Virginia Woolf's novel. In BY NIGHTFALL, published nearly 20 years later, Cunningham still revels in the messy ways that art can impact people's lives. This time his story involves a successful Manhattan art-world couple: art-dealer Peter Harris and editor Rebecca Harris. Cunningham portrays their lives in their SoHo loft as the apogee of the intelligently sexy urban lifestyle, the kind that gets glamorized in the movies and on TV. But, as is so often the case, even those that seem to have it all, can be dissatisfied. Peter's world gets severely shaken when Rebecca's younger brother comes to stay with them. Called by the family Mizzy, for "mistake," Ethan is a charming and attractive young man, whose troubles cause Peter to question everything about the world he has built for himself--professionally and personally. As Peter's attraction to Ethan grows, Cunningham unwinds a thoughtful meditation on what's important in life in relationship to aging and beauty.