About the Author

Brian Duren left the University of Minnesota when he was an undergraduate, bought a one-way ticket to England, and sailed from New York to Southampton on a cargo ship. He spent nearly a year in Europe, most of that time in Paris (he lived for over a month in Shakespeare & Company Bookstore, just a stone’s throw from Notre Dame), and fell in love with French literature. Over the next several years he traveled extensively in the United States and Europe, lived for four years in France, and earned some degrees along the way: a doctorate in French literature from the University of Paris, a B.A. in English and a Ph.D. in French from the University of Minnesota.

Brian taught at the Universities of Texas, Tulsa, Iowa, and Minnesota. Among his most popular courses were those on Proust, literature and psychoanalysis, deconstruction, and European film. He published articles in literary reviews, such as SubStance (published by the University of Wisconsin-Madison) and Littérature (University of Paris), and presented papers at universities and at regional, national, and international conferences on modern French authors and European filmmakers (Proust, Cixous, Derrida, Godard, Wenders, and Fassbinder). He eventually left teaching, became an administrator at the University of Minnesota, and retired in 2004 to devote more time to writing and to his three sons. From 2005 to 2013 he taught French on a part-time basis at colleges in Minnesota, such as Gustavus Adolphus.  He now works full-time as a writer.  

While working as an Assistant Professor of French and Comparative Literature, Brian wrote his first novel, Fadings. Two chapters from the novel appeared in Rampike (volume 6, no. 1) in 1987.

In 2009, Brian published Whiteout.  In 2010 Whiteout won the Independent Publisher Gold Medal for Midwestern Fiction and the Reader Views Reviewers Choice Award for Midwestern Literature; Whiteout finished a finalist (second place) for the National Indie Excellence Award for Regional Fiction and fourth for the Independent Book Publishers Association Benjamin Franklin Award for Popular Fiction.  Mary Ann Grossmann, book critic of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, wrote in her review that "Whiteout is a stunning debut novel, worthy of national recognition . . ."

Brian's recently completed novel, Ivory Black, is under consideration for publication. 

He has begun a new novel, for which the working title is The Gravity of Love.

See "Work in Progress" for more information. 


Brian Duren

This photograph was taken just a few weeks before Brian moved to France to do a doctorate in French literature at the University of Paris.  After finishing his dissertation (Proust et l'écriture du désir), he accepted a position teaching at the University of Texas.