Michael Cunningham was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1952 and grew up in La Canada, California. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Stanford University and an MFA from the University of Iowa.
Cunningham’s first novel was the widely acclaimed A Home at the End of the World (1990), later adapted as a film featuring Colin Farrell and Robin Wright Penn. Cunningham followed this debut with Flesh and Blood (1995) and The Hours (1999), the latter of which received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the PEN/Faulkner Award and was also adapted as a film, starring Julianne Moore, Nicole Kidman, and Meryl Streep. His most recent novels are Specimen Days (2005) and By Nightfall (2010).
In addition to his work as a novelist, Cunningham is the author of one nonfiction book, Land’s End: A Walk Through Provincetown, and co-wrote the screenplay for Susan Minot’s novel, Evening. His stories and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, and The Paris Review, among other publications.
Cunningham’s honors include a Whiting Writers Award, fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, and a Michener Fellowship from the University of Iowa. He is currently a senior lecturer in the English department at Yale University.