"A writer of poems, short stories, novels, and nonfiction commentaries, ELLEN GILCHRIST is a diverse writer whom critics have praised repeatedly for her subtle perceptions, unique characters, and sure command of the writer’s voice, as well as her innovative plotlines set in her native Mississippi. As Sabine Durrant commented in the London Times, her writing 'swings between the familiar and the shocking, the everyday and the traumatic.... She writes about ordinary happenings in out of the way places, of meetings between recognizable characters from her other fiction and strangers, above all of domestic routine disrupted by violence.' The world of her fiction is awry; the surprise ending, although characteristic of her works, can still shock the reader. 'It is disorienting stuff,' noted Durrant, 'but controlled always by Gilchrist’s wry tone and gentle insight.'”
Among her numerous collections of short stories and novels are Victory Over Japan, which won the 1984 American Book Award for fiction, Collected Stories (2000), The Annunciation (2001), and Nora Jane: A Life In Stories (2005). A collection of her essays, The Writing Life, was also published in 2005.
Ms. Gilchrist earned her MFA from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, where she currently teaches during the fall semesters.