JAMES MAGRUDER is a fiction writer, playwright, and translator. He was born in Washington, D.C., and moved with his family five times before settling down in Wheaton, Illinois. He went off to Cornell University, spent his junior year in Paris, served time as a grad student in the Yale French department, then defected to the Yale School of Drama, where he received his doctorate in dramaturgy and dramatic criticism. His dissertation, Three French Comedies (Yale University Press), was named an “Outstanding Literary Translation of the Year” by the American Literary Translators Association. Today, his versions of Molière, Marivaux, Lesage, Labiche, Gozzi, Dickens, Hofmannsthal, and Giraudoux have been produced across the country and earn him tens of dollars. He also wrote the book for the ill-fated Broadway musical Triumph of Love. The journal he kept during that very special time will become available when several of his collaborators have passed away.
After fifteen years in show business as a playwright and dramaturg, he turned to fiction in 2002. His stories have appeared in New England Review, The Normal School, The Gettysburg Review, Bloom, Subtropics, and the anthologies Boy Crazy and New Stories from the Midwest, among others. His debut novel, Sugarless (University of Wisconsin Press), was a Lambda Literary Award finalist and was shortlisted for the VCU Cabell First Novelists Award and the 2010 William Saroyan International Writing Prize. His first story collection, Let Me See It, appears in June 2014 from TriQuarterly Books/Northwestern University Press.
He is a five-time recipient of an Individual Artist Award from the Maryland State Arts Council and a four-time fellow of the MacDowell Colony. His writing has also been supported by the New Harmony Project, the Ucross Foundation, the Blue Mountain Center, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Sewanee Writers Conference, and the Jerome Foundation. He taught translation and adaptation at the Yale School of Drama for many years and currently teaches dramaturgy at Swarthmore College. He lives in Baltimore with his partner Stephen Bolton. They have paid off their mortgage.