Brad Gooch is the author of biographies of two distinctly different American writers. His City Poet: The Life and Times of Frank O’Hara explores the brief, bright life of the poet whose candor and direct sensibility helped define the postmodern poetic voice, and whose glamorous career at New York’s Museum of Modern Art helped bring about the styles of a new American painting. Gooch’s most recent book, Flannery: A Life of Flannery O’Connor, reveals the similarly short but comparatively sheltered life of O’Connor, a southerner and a devout Catholic whose battle with lupus kept her home-bound throughout her brief adult life, during which she wrote some of the most influential short stories of the 20th century. Flannery was a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and a New York Times bestseller.
“I’m very drawn to the novelistic biography,” writes Gooch, “where, like in a 19th century novel, you get a sense of someone from birth until death. You keep their pulse alive on every page.”
The author of novels, memoirs, short stories, and poems, Gooch’s work has been featured in magazines including the New Republic, the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, New York Magazine, Travel and Leisure, Partisan Review, the Paris Review, the Los Angeles Times Book Review, Art Forum, Harper’s Bazaar, the Nation, and regularly on the Daily Beast. His honors include Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships and a Furthermore grant in publishing from the J.M. Kaplan Fund. A professor of English at William Paterson University, he is currently at work on a biography of the 13th-century Sufi poet Rumi.
Flannery: A Life of Flannery O’Connor (2009)
City Poet: The Life and Times of Frank O’Hara (1994)