Lawyers and Literature

Biographical Note: J.S. Marcus

J. S. Marcus's most recent novel is The Captain's Fire (New York: Knopf, 1996). In 1992, Marcus was awarded the Whiting Writer's Award (the award in 2006 was $40,000). In 2001 he was a fellow at the Santa Maddalena Foundation, near Florence, Italy.

J.S. Marcus, is not, too my knowledge, a lawyer. How he might have found occasion to write a story about law school, would I think, itself be an interesting story. (Perhaps he will someday tell us.) I write this statement--this invitation to Marcus--when I do still another Google search (having searched several times before) to see who J.S. Marcus is, where he is, and what he doing besides writing this wonderful little "Centaurs" story. And then, I find something something that might serve as an answer to my question about J.S. Marcus and how he came to write a story about law school. The bio was found in a statement about the James Merrill Writer-in-Residence Program (and confirmed in the announcement of the Whiting Writer's Award); it reads:

2004-05 Merrill Writer-in-Residence J.S. Marcus was born in Milwaukee in 1962. He was educated at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Wisconsin Law School. Mr. Marcus is the author of two works of fiction: The Art of Cartography, a collection of stories set mostly in New York and London, for which he received the Whiting Writer's Award; and a novel, The Captain ' s Fire, set in Berlin in the years after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Mr. Marcus's fiction has appeared in many publications, including The New Yorker and Harper's; and his essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, the Los Angeles Times Book Review, and the New York Review of Books. Mr. Marcus is a former senior fellow at the Remarque Institute of European Studies at NYU and longtime Berlin resident.

J.S. Marcus was educated at the University of Wisconsin Law School. Now, we know, with some evidence for our suspicions, where Marcus found, or draws upon for his imaginative construction, of Sheila's law school world that he portrays in "Centaurs."

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