Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Gerald Duff  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult;

Born: 1938 in Beaumont, Texas

-- Website --
-- Gerald Duff on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Duff lives in Lebanon, Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

In addition to writing fiction, poetry, and scholarly works, Gerald Duff has taught literature and writing at Vanderbilt University, Kenyon College, Rhodes College, and Johns Hopkins University. He has published eleven books, including ''Indian Giver'', finalist for the Great Lakes Colleges Association First Novel Award, and ''Fire Ants'', which was a finalist for the Texas Institute of Letters Jesse Jones Award for the 2007 Best Book of Fiction. His other books of fiction and poetry have won the St. Andrews Prize for Poetry and the Cohen Award for Fiction, and have been nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award, the Texas Institute for Letters Award, the University of Michigan Literary Fiction Award, and the PEN/Faulkner Prize.

Published Works

    William Cobett and the Politics of Earth, University of Salzburg Press, 1972A Ceremony of Light Poems, Interim, 1976Calling Collect, Poems, University Presses of Florida, 1982Indian Giver, Indiana University Press, 1983Graveyard Working, Baskerville Press, 1994Thats All Right Mama, The Unauthorized Life of Elvis` Twin, Baskerville Press, 1995Memphis Ribs, Salvo Press, 1999Snake Song, Salvo Press, 2000Coasters, New South Books, 2001Fire Ants, New South Books, 2007Blue Sabine, Moon City Press, 2011Home Truths, Texas Christian University Press, 2011Dirty Rice, University of Louisiana at LaFayette, 2012Decoration Day, Stephen F. Austin University Press, 2012

Selected Titles At Your Library

A ceremony of light :
ISBN: 0904675041. OCLC Number:

Interim Press,. [Egham] :. [1976]

Calling collect :
ISBN: 0813007119. OCLC Number:

University Presses of Florida,. Orlando :. [1982]

Indian giver /
ISBN: 0253139996. OCLC Number:

Indiana University Press,. Bloomington :. ©1983.

Sam Houston Leaping Deer is a Alabama-Coushatta Indian transported by his transcendent basketball talent from the reservation in East Texas to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (the Fighting Illini), where he immediately becomes a star. Gerald Duff's powerful work of satire, humor, and tragedy tells the story of Sam's encounter with the white man's world of greed and deception. While encountering a cross-section of sixties academia, he retains his inner world of Coushatta legends and traditions, a contradiction that forms the power of this memorable novel.

Graveyard working :
ISBN: 1880909154. OCLC Number:

Baskerville Publishers,. Dallas :. 1994.

That's all right, Mama :
ISBN: 1880909332. OCLC Number:

Baskerville Publishers,. Dallas, TX :. ©1995.

In this account, Elvis Presley's twin brother, Jesse, does not die at birth, but lives to serve his brother. He protects Elvis from school bullies, gets him his first talent show, fills in for him on the Ed Sullivan Show, even makes love to Elvis' wife when Elvis is not up to it. By the author of Indian Giver.

Memphis ribs /
ISBN: 0966452011. OCLC Number:

Salvo Press,. Bend, OR :. 1999.

In the midst of the International Barbecue Contest and the Cotton Carnival, J.W. Ragsdale has to investigate two murders and a case of "mass market bad barbecue."--Cover.

Snake song /
ISBN: 0966452089. OCLC Number:

Salvo Press,. Bend, Or. :. ©2000.

Coasters :
ISBN: 1588380297. OCLC Number:

. .

Waylon McPhee, middle-aged and divorced, moves back in with his widowed father in hopes of coasting through another year. But his father is dating again, and his sisters are trying to manipulate Waylon into asking their father for their inheritance before he gives it to a second wife. Adding to the pandemonium are an affair with an obsessive married woman, some old high school acquaintances, and Waylon's renewed interest in the Prom Queen from his old high school, the same school where he has taken a job as a substitute teacher. The sarcastic Waylon, juggling his relationships and responsibilities caustically but light-heartedly, hangs on hoping to recover something he lost in his youth: enough momentum to reach escape velocity. By turns humorous and melancholy, this novel cruises to a conclusion where all its characters satisfyingly reap what they have sown. Gerald Duff is a splendid writer of sparkling dialogue, and has perfect pitch for the ennui of contemporary life in the suburbs of the petroleum-chemical corridor that stretches along the Gulf Coast from Texas to Mississippi. -- dust jacket.

Fire Ants and Other Stories.
ISBN: 1588382087. OCLC Number:

NewSouth, Incorporated,. Montgomery :. 2006.

Blue sabine :
ISBN: 0913785342. OCLC Number:

Moon City Press,. Springfield, Mo. :. 2011.

Home truths :
ISBN: 0875654355. OCLC Number:

TCU Press,. Fort Worth, Tex. :. ©2011.

In this memoir the author explores just how it was he came to relish the lies, the prevarications that enabled him to endure the tough life of growing up in deep East Texas a bookish boy feeling out of place. He unflinchingly looks at adolescent attitudes about social status, education, sex, and how they shaped his future life as a novelist.

Dirty rice :
ISBN: 1935754130. OCLC Number:

University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press,. Lafayette, La. :. 2012.

"In the midst of the Great Depression, minor league baseball thrives in small-town South Louisiana, where the Evangeline League, named in honor of Longfellow?s heroine, draws hundreds to dirt fields and grandstands in places like Jeanerette, Abbeville, and Opelousas. In 1935 Gemar Batiste, a talented young pitcher from Texas, is recruited to try out for the Rayne Rice Birds, makes the roster, and immediately begins garnering fame for himself, his team, and the league"--Page 4 of cover.

Decoration day and other stories /
ISBN: 1936205564. OCLC Number:

Stephen F. Austin State University Press,. Nacogcohes [i.e. Nacogdoches], Tex. :. 2012.

"Decoration Day and Other Stories ranges in locale from the piney woods of Deep East Texas, to the mean streets of Memphis, to the suburbs of Washington, DC. Highly comic and deeply serious, the collection reaches from the late 19th century to the present day"--Texas A&M University Press & the Texas Book Consortium website.


Cohen Prize for Fiction from


and the St. Andrews Prize for Poetry Award of Merit by the Philosophical Society of Texas in 2013 and the best novel about Texas published in 2011 for

Blue Sabine

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

Contact literary agent

Bob MeCoy 66 Grand Street, Suite One New York, NY 10013 Tel 212-226-1936 Email