Image: American author James Alan McPherson, photographed in 1984. (Anthony Barboza/Getty Images)
Writer James Alan McPherson – who in 1978 became the first African-American writer to win a Pulitzer Prize for fiction – died last Wednesday at the age of 72.
McPherson spent his career writing short fiction and essays that explored race and class in America. Later in life, he also spent many years as a professor at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where our own Glen Weldon studied under him.
“American history was a passion of his,” Glen says, “and though his work often evinced a wry humor, in person he struck me as a serious man who cared deeply about the shadow that history casts on the present.”
Read Glen’s full remembrance here.