Novelist Alison Lurie was born September 3, 1926 in Chicago, Illinois to Harry and Bernice Stewart Lurie. She is an American novelist and academic. Lurie won the Pulitzer Prize for her 1984 novel Foreign Affairs. She received an A.B. from Radcliffe College in 1947. After finishing college, Lurie worked as an editorial assistant for Oxford University Press in New York, but she wanted to make a living as a writer. After years of receiving rejection slips, she devoted herself to raising her children. Lurie had taught at Cornell University since 1968, becoming a full professor in 1976 specializing in folklore and children's literature.
Lurie's first novel was "Love and Friendship" (1962) and its characters were modeled on friends and colleagues. Afterwards, she published "The Nowhere City" (1965), "Imaginary Friends" (1967), "The War Between the Tates" (1974), which tells of the collapse of a perfect marriage between a professor and his wife, "Only Children" (1979), and "The Truth About Lorin Jones" (1988). "Foreign Affairs" (1984) won the Pulitzer Prize; it tells the story of two academics in England who learn more about love than academia. Her more recent books include the novels "Women and Ghosts" (1994), and "The Last Resort" (1998), and a work of nonfiction, "Familiar Spirits (2001)."
Among her awards and honors, she received honorary degrees from the University of Oxford (2006) and the University of Nottingham (2007). And from 2012-2014, she was the official author of the state of New York.
Alison Lurie died on December 3, 2020 in Ithaca, NY at the age of 94.