Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Melissa Pritchard  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult;

Born: San Mateo, California

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Illinois Connection

Lived in Cook County 1976-1987.

Biographical and Professional Information


Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Selene of the Spirits
ISBN: 0865380953

Ontario Review Pr. 1998

Set in Victorian London, this story follows a beautiful woman with psychic powers who becomes famous as a medium, but soon falls from grace when she has an affair with a renowned scientist and is exiled to the Welsh countryside where her life is transformed

Disappearing Ingenue: The Misadventures of Eleanor Stoddard
ISBN: 0385503032

Doubleday. 2002

The ups and downs and turnarounds of a good girl who can’t help being bad no matter how hard she tries come hilariously to life in these disarming, utterly distinctive interrelated stories.

Eleanor Stoddard tries to lead an exemplary life, to pursue the high road, and better herself and the world, but somehow things keep going awry. In “Port de Bras,” even as Eleanor spends her summer reading about the Holocaust, her good intentions are disrupted by the discovery that her first best friend is a compulsive liar who has cried wolf too many times. “Salve Regina” wryly captures another ill-fated step on Eleanor’s journey toward goodness. When, much to her mother’s dismay, she dreams of becoming a nun and dutifully says her rosary in the bathroom at her first cotillion, Eleanor finds that she still can’t save a friend from the consequences of her first seduction. Her marriage brings no relief from the twists of fate–and her quirky attempts to deal with them: In “The Case of the Disappearing Ingenue,” Eleanor turns to Nancy Drew for help when she suspects that her husband may be cheating on her. In the Pushcart Prize—winning “Funktionslust,” the final story in this collection, Eleanor does get her childhood wish. . . but not exactly in the way she imagined. Traveling through Central America with a rescued laboratory gorilla, “Like a rogue saint, Eleanor Stoddard was sighted here and there, most often by the innocent.”

Disappearing Ingenue presents a heroine whose adventures with life and love are wildly imaginative.

Late Bloomer
ISBN: 0385721927

Anchor. 2005

Prudence True Parker teaches a course called Advanced Personal Journey at a community college in Arizona, but her own personal journey is not really advancing. She’s divorced, debt-ridden, and starting to feel desperate, when she meets Digby Deeds (alias Mildred Crowley), the author of the wildly successful Savage Passion romance series, at her local library. When the dying Deeds offers Prudence the final forty plots of his popular series, her financial needs trump her literary aspirations, and she accepts. To her astonishment, her own life soon begins to outpace Passion’s fevered tales, and she finds herself in the midst of a plot involving psychics, a sexy young Comanche lover, Native American activists, medicine men, and even a few wolves. Quick-witted and laugh-out-loud funny, Late Bloomer follows Prue on her madcap journey, as she finds her real life surpassing the wildest flights of her imagination.

Devotedly Virginia: The Life of Virginia Galvin Piper

The Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust. 2008


Carl Sandburg award for fiction.

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)