Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Philip Graham  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult;

Born: 1951 in Brooklyn, New York

-- Philip Graham's Website --
-- Website --
-- Philip Graham on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Graham resides in Urbana, Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Philip Graham teaches at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he is a co-founder and the current fiction editor of the literary/arts journal ''Ninth Letter'', and is the recipient of three campus teaching awards. He also teaches in the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program in Writing.Three of his books are available in ebook format ''The Art of the Knock'', ''How to Read an Unwritten Language'' and ''Interior Design''.

Published Works

  • The Art of the Knock, Stories, William Morrow & Company, 1985
  • Parallel Worlds, An Anthropoligist & A Writer Encounter Africa, Scribner, 1993 - written with Alma Gottlieb
  • How to Read an Unwritten Language, Scribner, 1995
  • Interior Design Stories, Scribner, 1996
  • The Moon, Come to Earth: Dispatches from Lisbon, University of Chicago Press, 2009
  • Braided Worlds, University of Chicago Press, 2012 - written with Alma Gottlieb

Selected Titles At Your Library

The art of the knock :
ISBN: 0688041175. OCLC Number:

W. Morrow,. New York :. ©1985.

Parallel worlds :
ISBN: 0226305066. OCLC Number:

University of Chicago Press,. Chicago :. 1994.

"This suspenseful and moving memoir of Africa recounts the experiences of Alma Gottlieb, an anthropologist, and Philip Graham, a fiction writer, as they lived in two remote villages in the rain forest of Cote d'Ivoire. With an unusual coupling of first-person narratives, their alternate voices tell a story imbued with sweeping narrative power, humility, and gentle humor. Parallel Worlds is a unique look at Africa, anthropological fieldwork, and the artistic process."--BOOK JACKET.

How to read an unwritten language /
ISBN: 0446672785. OCLC Number:

Warner Books,. New York :. [1997]

Interior design :
ISBN: 0684803720. OCLC Number:

Scribner,. New York :. ©1996.

A collection of eight stories. The story, The Pose, is a wife's attempt to arouse her husband, Lucky looks at the effect on a shoe salesman of his clientele dying off, and The Reverse traces the way a woman's job--she is an actress--changes her private life.

The moon, come to Earth :
ISBN: 0226305155. OCLC Number:

University of Chicago Press,. Chicago :. 2009.

A dispatch from a foreign land, when crafted by an attentive and skilled writer, can be magical, transmitting pleasure, drama, and seductive strangeness. In The Moon, Come to Earth, Philip Graham offers an expanded edition of a popular series of dispatches originally published on McSweeney's, an exuberant yet introspective account of a year's sojourn in Lisbon with his wife and daughter. Casting his attentive gaze on scenes as broad as a citywide arts festival and as small as a single paving stone in a cobbled walk, Graham renders Lisbon from a perspective that varies between wide-eyed and kno.

Braided worlds /
ISBN: 0226305287. OCLC Number:

. .


  • 1991 - Special Mention citation for the short story, "The Reverse," in The Pushcart Prize XVI.
  • 1992 - Creative Writing Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts.
  • 1992 - "Light Bulbs," short story, performed by actress Mary Ann Thebus (directed by Steve Scott)

    for Stories on Stage, Organic Theatre, Chicago, Illinois, December 14, 1992.

  • 1992 - The William Peden Prize in Fiction, awarded by The Missouri Review for the short story, "Angel."
  • 1993 - Special Mention citation for the short story, "Angel," in The Pushcart Prize XVIII.
  • 1993 - Victor Turner Prize, awarded to Parallel Worlds

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

    Please contact author via email at