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Madison Smartt Bell

Author of All Souls' Rising

30+ Works 2,939 Members 48 Reviews 7 Favorited

About the Author

Madison Smartt Bell was born and raised in Tennessee; he studied at Princeton University and Hollins College. He has taught in a variety of capacities, including the Iowa Writers' Workshop, the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars, the University of Southern Maine, Goucher College, and as a show more Fellow at the MacDowell Colony. Much of his writing, which reflects a concern with race relations, has been critically acclaimed. Bell was awarded the 1989 Lillian Smith Award for Soldier's Joy. His 1996 historical novel All Soul's Rising was nominated for both the National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award. All Soul's Rising, which depicts the slave uprising in Haiti in the late eighteenth century, also led to his selection to the Granta's list of Best Young American Novelists. His books include The Washington Square Ensemble (1983), Waiting for the End of the World (1985), Straight Cut (1986), The Year of Silence (1987), Zero dB (1987), Soldier's Joy (1989), Barking Man (1990), Doctor Sleep (1991), Save Me, Joe Lewis (1993), and All Soul's Rising (1996). His short stories have been frequently anthologized, including selection for the annual Best American Short Stories for 1984, 1987, 1989, and 1990. Bell teaches at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland. (Bowker Author Biography) Madison Smartt Bell is the author of eleven previous works of fiction, including All Souls' Rising, which was a National Book Award finalist; Save Me, Joe Louis; Dr. Sleep; Soldier's Joy; and Ten Indians. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: Baltimore Sun


Works by Madison Smartt Bell

All Souls' Rising (1995) — Author — 576 copies
Straight Cut (1986) — Author — 267 copies
Master of the Crossroads (2000) — Author — 258 copies
Narrative Design: A Writer's Guide to Structure (1997) — Author — 184 copies
Devil's Dream (2009) — Author — 137 copies
Doctor Sleep (1991) — Author — 112 copies
Waiting for the End of the World (1985) — Author — 108 copies
The Year of Silence (1987) — Author — 103 copies
Ten Indians (1996) — Author — 99 copies
Barking Man (1990) — Author — 83 copies
Zero Db and Other Stories (1987) — Author — 83 copies
Save Me, Joe Louis (1993) — Author — 73 copies

Associated Works

The Black Jacobins (1938) — Afterword, some editions — 1,336 copies
Granta 54: Best of Young American Novelists (1996) — Contributor — 233 copies
The Best American Short Stories 1990 (1990) — Contributor — 216 copies
The Best American Travel Writing 2005 (2005) — Contributor — 212 copies
The Best American Short Stories 1989 (1989) — Contributor — 187 copies
Haiti Noir (2011) — Contributor — 132 copies
The Best American Short Stories 1987 (1987) — Contributor — 127 copies


Common Knowledge



Really disjointed and jarringly edited in some places. Went from "this happened, then this happened, then this happened" type of history, and would then make a sudden jump to another event without any real transition. Don't know if this was the writer or the editor, but it doesn't really matter. I need to look elsewhere for a biography of Lavoisier.

(Also, one of my pet peeves: there were sections/poems in the original French, with no translation into English.)
rumbledethumps | 7 other reviews | Mar 23, 2021 |
Excellent book for fans of Madison Smartt Bell. Goes into his life from the beginning. The people he knew. How the things he experienced are reflected in his work.
nx74defiant | Jun 25, 2020 |
An early personal favorite, Bell is one of those writers who defies categorization and at times even description, his work somehow managing to track the borderland between experimental mind games and the solid characterization and description of mainstream literary fiction. A synthesis of mind and heart told in a language that matches the subtle virtuosity we’ve come to associate with his work, Bell’s thirteenth novel, Behind the Moon, does nothing to diminish his legacy.

href="http://thenervousbreakdown.com/kbaumeister/2017/08/the-nervous-breakdowns-review-microbrew-volume-8/#more-127915" rel="nofollow" target="_top">http://thenervousbreakdown.com/kbaumeister/2017/08/the-nervous-breakdowns-review...… (more)
kurtbaumeister | Oct 25, 2017 |
A perfectly fitted concept and design. The reversal of stories from here and stories from there meeting in the center and flipping over to the other side was ingenious and clever. The stories themselves are nicely fitted out vehicles for the trips on which they transport you.
andersonden | 1 other review | Nov 26, 2016 |



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Elizabeth Spencer Contributor
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George Singleton Contributor
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