Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Curtis White  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: January 24, 1951 in Oakland, California

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Illinois Connection

Curtis currently resides in Normal, Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Curtis White is a professor of English at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois. He is a widely acclaimed essayist and author. His work appears regularly in ''Context'' and ''Harper's''. He is the President of the Board of Directors of the Center for Book Culture/Dalkey Archive Press.

Published Works

  • Heretical Songs, New York, N.Y., 1981
  • Metaphysics in the Midwest, Sun and Moon Press, 1988
  • The Idea of Home, Sun and Moon Press, 1992
  • Memories of My Father Watching TV, Dalkey Archive Press, 1998
  • Monstrous Possibility, An Invitation to Literary Politics, Dalkey Archive Press, 1998
  • Requiem, Dalkey Archive Press, 2001
  • The Middle Mind; Why Americans Don't Think For Themselves, HarperOne, 2004
  • America's Magic Mountain, Dalkey Archive Press, 2004
  • The Spirit of Disobedience; Resisting The Charms of Fake Politics, Mindless Consumption and the Culture of Total Work, Polipoint Press, 2008
  • The Barbaric Heart; Faith, Money and the Crisis of Nature, Polipoint, 2009

Selected Titles At Your Library

Heretical songs :
ISBN: 0914590626. OCLC Number:

Fiction Collective :. New York :. ©1980.

Metaphysics in the Midwest :
ISBN: 1557130469. OCLC Number:

Sun & Moon Press,. Los Angeles :. ©1988.

The idea of home /
ISBN: 1564783707. OCLC Number:

Dalkey Archive Press,. Normal :. 2004.

"In The Idea of Home, Curtis White imagines "a place in which humans can live." This utopia is definitely not San Lorenzo - a postwar, prefabricated suburb in California - where White grew up. From the vantage point of an unbalanced adulthood, White's observations on recent American history explore the dark heart of suburbia. The Idea of Home displays what life would have been like for Nietzsche and Mark Twain if they had the misfortune of growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1950s and '60s."--Jacket.

Memories of my father watching TV :
ISBN: 1564781895. OCLC Number:

Dalkey Archive Press,. Normal, IL :. 1998.

For the boy narrator of this tale, to be a man one must kill one's father. He plays out the fantasy as he watches a war movie with him on TV. "My father was a German pontoon bridge ... he had to be taken out."

Monstrous possibility :
ISBN: 1564781909. OCLC Number:

Dalkey Archive Press,. Normal, Ill. :. 1998.

"In Monstrous Possibility Curtis White creates a lucid perspective on what it means to be a writer and a human being in the so-called post-modern moment."--Jacket.

Requiem /
ISBN: 1564783081. OCLC Number:

Dalkey Archive Press,. Chicago :. 2001.

"Includes letters-to-the-editor, an e-mail correspondence with a porn queen, scenes from the lives of classical musicians, and retellings of biblical stories. In the process, White charts the rise and fall of the Human from the Bible (pre-human), to the Enlightenment (the invention of the human), to the digital age (post-human), to the Enlightenment (the invention of the human), to the digital age (post-human)."--Back cover.

The middle mind :
ISBN: 0060730595. OCLC Number:

HarperSanFrancisco,. New York, NY :. 2004, ©2003.

America's magic mountain :
ISBN: 1564783693. OCLC Number:

Dalkey Archive Press,. Normal :. 2004.

"A contemporary version of Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain, Curtis White's novel begins with Mann's "unassuming young man," Hans Castorp, visiting his cousin at a health retreat. In this version though, the retreat is a spa for recovering alcoholics, unlike all other rehab centers. Rather than encouraging their patients to free themselves of their addiction, the directors of The Elixir believe that sobriety isn't for everyone, that you must let alcohol work its way on you. Filled with many compelling and comic voices, White's novel is a strange and unlikely world that, nevertheless, is quite recognizable as our own."--Jacket.

The Spirit of Disobedience
ISBN: 0981576907. OCLC Number:

Polipoint Pr. . 2008.

The barbaric heart :
ISBN: 0981709125. OCLC Number:

PoliPointPress ;. Sausalito, CA :. ©2009.

"The Barbaric Heart argues that the present environment crisis will not be resolved by the same forms of crony capitalism and managerial technocracy that created the crisis in the first place. Curtis White argues that the solution might very well come from an unexpected quarter: the arts, religion, and the realm of the moral imagination."--Jacket.



Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)