Melissa Bank, Witty, Bestselling Author Passed Away at 61
Melissa Bank passed away following a struggle with lung cancer. The author known for her 1999 best seller “The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing” was 61.
Viking Books released a statement to announce Bank died Tuesday, August 2, 2022, in East Hampton, New York. She had lung cancer.
The publishing company called Melissa “a writer with a distinctive minimalist style and boldly hilarious voice. “she captivated generations of readers with her warmly piercing takes on relationships, family and adulthood,” they added.
Melissa Bank was born in Philadelphia in 1961. Her father, a neurologist, passed away from leukemia in his late 50s. She attended Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
Bank had an MFA from Cornell University. Her literary influences include John Cheever, Billy Collins, Vladimir Nabokov, and Grace Paley. Bank’s favorite nonfiction writer is Janet Malcolm.
The author published two books, the first one was The Wonder Spot, a volume of short stories; and the second one was The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing, a novel. The two books have been translated into over 30 languages.
Melissa was the winner of the 1993 Nelson Algren Award for short fiction. The talented author taught in the MFA program at Stony Brook Southampton. Melissa divided her time between New York City and East Hampton.
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Author Melissa Bank Passed Away at 61
Author of The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing Melissa Bank passed away on August 2, 2022, in East Hampton, New York. She had lung cancer.
The Girls’ Guide to Hunting And Fishing took Melissa twelve years to write. For most of that time, she worked as a copywriter and focused on the novel in her spare time.
About five years before the book was published, Melissa was involved in a serious bicycle accident where she was struck by a vehicle. Melissa landed on her head and suffered post-concussion syndrome for almost two years.
This condition affected Bank’s short-term memory and divested her of the “top 10 to 15% of [her] vocabulary”; Melissa was unable to order information or perform sequential thinking. Unfortunately, she had to stop writing the book during this period.
The Girls’ Guide to Hunting And Fishing finally was published in 1999. It was a bestseller in both the United Kingdom and the United States and, garnered mostly positive reviews.
The Los Angeles Times wrote about the author, “Bank writes like John Cheever, but funnier.” Newsweek critic Yahlin Chang said, “Bank draws exquisite portraits of loneliness, and she can do it in a sentence.”
Others placed Melissa in the school of restraint exemplified by Hemingway and Raymond Carver. She published short stories and nonfiction in such publications as the Ploughshares, Zoetrope, Chicago Tribune, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and Seventeen, as well as being broadcast on BBC and National Public Radio.
After the sad news of Melissa Bank’s passing was revealed, her friends and fans flooded social media with thousands of tribute messages. Many fans also took to Twitter to pay tributes to the legendary author.
“RIP to Melissa Bank, who wrote a smart and funny book lots of people loved (and tried to imitate for years), The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing,” author of “The Middlesteins” and “All This Could Be Yours, Jami Attenberg wrote.
Gideon Yago wrote: “RIP to Melissa Bank, author of a great many things but perhaps most incredibly, ‘The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing’. One of those beguiling books that, if you catch it at the right time, becomes a lifelong friend.”
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