Grace Paley H’03

Grace Paley H’03 died on August 22, 2007, at her home in Thetford, Vermont.

Born Grace Goodside on December 11, 1922, in the Bronx, N.Y., she attended Hunter College in NewYork and NewYork University in 1938 and 1939, and studied at the New School for Social Research with W.H. Auden in the early 1940s. She married cinematographer Jess Paley in 1942; they separated in the 1950s, and were divorced in 1972. She married landscape architect and author Robert Nichols in 1972. Her first collection of short stories, The Little Disturbances of Man, was published in 1959. She wrote numerous books of short stories and poems over the course of her career. Over the course of her teaching career she held faculty positions at Columbia University, Syracuse University, the City College of New York, and Sarah Lawrence College. After her retirement, she also taught at Stanford, Johns Hopkins, and Dartmouth. Her 1994 book, Collected Stories, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, and she was the 1983 Recipient of the Edith Wharton Award, the Rea Award for the Short Story in 1993, the Vermont Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts (1993), the Jewish Cultural Achievement Award for Literary Arts (1994), and the Lannan Literary Award for Fiction (1997). She was elected to the National Academy of Arts and Letters in1980, received a 1991 Guggenheim Fellowship for Fiction, and was named the first official New York State Writer by Governor Mario Cuomo in 1989 and The Vermont State Poet Laureate from 2003 to 2007. She was a member of the War Resisters League and accompanied a 1969 peace mission to Hanoi, and was a delegate to the 1974 World Peace Conference in Moscow. She received an honorary doctor of letters degree from Bowdoin in 2003. She is survived by her husband, Robert Nichols of Thetford,Vt., a daughter, Nora, and a son, Danny.