Tulane Home   |  Calendar  |  Press Room  |  About  |  Contact

Educating undergraduate women for leadership in the 21st century.

Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterWatch NCI on You-TubeWatch NCI on VimeoLinked InFlickrpinterestinstagram
<h2 class="nci-h2-featured">Rosellen Brown is Zale 1994 Writer-In-Residence


Rosellen Brown, the eighth Zale Writer-in-Residence, was born on May 12, 1939 in Philadelphia. Brown attended Barnard University where she discovered her talents in poetry after having been given an English assignment to write a sonnet. After graduating in from Barnard in 1960 with a Bachelor of Arts, she intended on receiving a PhD. Her plans quickly changed when she soon realized that she’d prefer to spend time on creating her own works instead of a thesis. Thus, Brown completed her education with a Masters degree in 1962.

On March 16, 1963, Brown married Marvin Hoffman and soon moved to Mississippi to accepting a teaching position—a move that would forever effect her poetry for her Mississippi experience became a source of material for later works. Though a well establish poet, Brown is also a very accomplished educator having taught literature at Tougaloo College, creative writing at the University of Houston, and an MFA Program at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago.

Brown’s career has been blessed with many prestigious honors and awards. Her stories have appeared in O. Henry Prize Stories, Best American Short Stories, and the Pushcart Prize anthologies. She has also received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Ingram Merrill Foundation, the Bunting Institute, and the Howard Foundation and grants from the George and Eliza Howard Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities.One of her works, her novel Before and After, was actually adapted into a major motion picture. Among these honors, Rosellen Brown has also received various awards such as the Best American Short Story in 1975, the Great Lakes Colleges New Writer’s Awards in 1976, and the Janet Kafka Prize in 984.


Street Games, 1874
Cora Fry’s Pillow Book, 1994
The Autobiography of My Mother, 1976
Tender Mercies, 1978
Civil Wars, 1984
Before and After, 1992
Half a Heart, 2000
Published In:
The Nation
The Atlantic Monthly
The University of Massachusetts Press, 1970
North American Review, 1972

For Further Reading on the Author
Chicago Review (Winter 1972)
Hudson Review (Winter 1976-1977)
Writer (September 1977)
New York Times Book Review (June 20, 1976; December 10, 1978)
Saturday Review (October 28, 1978)
Southwest Review (Summer 1979)


“Brown never retreats for one moment from her conviction that family is an accident from which the victims can never recover.”

             -Unknown Critic

“Brown concentrates almost unwaveringly on the stormier, more wrenching aspects of the experience of life.”
            -Saturday Review

Quotes By Rosellen Brown

“I still write for the same reason I wrote when I was nine years old: to speak more perfectly than I really can, to a listener more perfect than any I know...I want to move you. I may do some sociological business, a little humor on the side, but I’m happiest when someone says to me, ‘I was moved by that book.’...You have a better chance of understanding people in your writing than you ever d in your life.”
     -Rosellen Brown

“I’ve never been able to commit myself wholly to an ideology or a movement, now am I very good at activist business, so writing about people with whom I deeply empathize is a way for me to try to give them a voice when they are inarticulate or kept from speaking for themselves. If you can’t do anything particularly useful you can at least make an imaginary record.”
     -Rosellen Brown

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000