Charles Baxter. Courtesy Random House.

Charles Baxter (born May 13, 1947) is an American poet and author of fiction and non-fiction.


Youth and educationEdit

Baxter was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Mary (Eaton) and John Baxter. He graduated from Macalester College in Saint Paul, and taught high school in Pinconning, Michigan, for a year.

In 1974 he earned a Ph.D. in English from the University at Buffalo with a thesis on Djuna Barnes, Malcolm Lowry, and Nathanael West.


Charles Baxter Discusses His Early Life and Career

Charles Baxter Discusses His Early Life and Career

He began his university teaching career at Wayne State University in Detroit. He then moved to the University of Michigan, where for many years he directed the Creative Writing MFA program. Many of his students have gone on to successful writing careers; they include Gretchen Mazur, Helen Fremont, Michael Byers, Jardine Libaire, Porter Shreve, Davy Rothbart, John Fulton, Marc Nesbitt, Patrick O'Keeffe, Jess Row, Francesca Delbano, Peter Orner, Heidi Julavits, Karl Iagnemma, Achy Obejas, James Morrison and Elwood Reid.

Baxter teaches at the University of Minnesota and in the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers.



  • First Light (1987). An eminent astrophysicist and her brother, a small-town Buick salesman, discover how they grew so far apart and the bonds of love that still keep them together.
  • Shadow Play (1993). As his wife does gymnastics and magic tricks, his crazy mother invents her own vocabulary, and his aunt writes her own version of the Bible, Five Oaks Assistant City Manager Wyatt Palmer tries to live a normal life and nearly succeeds, but...
  • The Feast of Love (2000) (Pantheon Books), a reimagined Midsummer Night's Dream, a story told through the eyes of several different people.[1] Nominated for the National Book Award.
  • Saul and Patsy (2003). A teacher's marriage and identity are threatened by a dangerously obsessed teenage boy at his school.
  • The Soul Thief (2008). A graduate student's complicated relationships lead to a disturbing case of identity theft, which ultimately leads the man to wonder if he really is who he thinks he is.


A film version of the The Feast of Love, starring Morgan Freeman, Fred Ward and Greg Kinnear and directed by Robert Benton, was released in 2007.


  • 2008 Minnesota Book Award for General Non-fiction.
  • National Book Award (Finalist) for The Feast of Love, 2000
  • The Award in Literature, American Academy of Arts and Letters, 1997
  • Ohio University Spring Literary Festival (Honoree), 1995
  • The Cohen Award for the best essay published in Ploughshares, 1994
  • The Daniel A. Pollack-Harvard Review award to Shadow Play, 1994
  • The Gettysburg Review nonfiction prose award for "Fiction and the Inner Life of Objects," 1994
  • Michigan Author of the Year Award, 1993
  • Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Foundation Fellowship, 1992–95
  • Lawrence Foundation Award, 1991
  • Arts Foundation of Michigan Award, 1991
  • Guggenheim Fellowship, 1985–86
  • Michigan Council for the Arts Grant, 1984
  • 1984 Associated Writing Programs Award.
  • National Endowment for the Arts Grant, 1983
  • Lawrence Foundation Award, 1982



  • Chameleon (illustrated by Mary E. Miner). New York: New Rivers Press, 1970.
  • The South Dakota Guidebook. New York: New Rivers Press, 1974.
  • Imaginary Paintings, and other poems. Latham, NY: Paris Review Editions, 1989.


  • First Light. New York: Viking, 1987).
  • Shadow Play: A novel. New York: Norton, 1993.
  • The Feast of Love. New York: Pantheon, 2000.
  • Saul and Patsy. New York: Pantheon, 2003.
  • The Soul Thief. New York: Pantheon, 2008.

Short fictionEdit

  • Harmony of the World: Stories. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 1984.
  • Through The Safety Net: Stories. New York: Viking, 1985.
  • Gryphon (1985)
  • A Relative Stranger: Stories. New York: Norton, 1990.
  • Believers: A novella and stories. New York: Pantheon, 1997.
  • Gryphon: New and selected stories. New York: Pantheon, 2011.


  • Burning Down The House: Essays on fiction. St. Paul, MN: Graywolf Press, 1997.
  • The Art of Subtext: Beyond Plot. St. Paul, MN: Graywolf Press, 2007.


  • The Business of Memory: The art of remembering in an age of forgetting. St. Paul, MN: Graywolf Press, 1999.
  • Bringing the Devil to His Knees: The craft of fiction and the writing life (edited with Peter Turchi). Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2001.
  • Best New American Voices 2001 (edited with John Kulka & Natalie Danford). San Diego, CA: Harcourt, 2001.
  • A William Maxwell Portrait: Memories and appreciations (edited with Michael Collier & Edward Hirsch). New York: Norton, 2004.

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy WorldCat.[2]

See alsoEdit



  1. "The Feast Of Love (review)". Retrieved 2010-06-22. 
  2. Search results = au:Charles Baxter, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, Apr. 25, 2014.

External linksEdit

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