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One architect, six writers, and one composer honored

New York, March 13, 2007 -- Architect Billie Tsien; writers Deborah Eisenberg, Mary Gordon, Allan Gurganus, Jim Harrison, Harper Lee, and Annie Proulx; and composer Steven Stucky have been elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Secretary of the Academy, Richard Howard, will induct the eight new members at the Academy's annual Ceremonial in May.

An annual election is held to fill vacancies in the Academy's membership of 250 American artists, architects, writers, and composers. Nominations are first voted on by discipline (Art, including architecture, Literature, Music.) The names of those candidates receiving the highest number of votes are then submitted to the entire membership. The honor of election is considered the highest formal recognition of artistic merit in this country.

Biographies of Newly Elected Members of the Academy

Architect Billie Tsien was born in Ithaca, New York, in 1949 and educated at Brown University, Yale University and the University of California. In partnership with her husband, Tod Williams, Ms. Tsien's work includes the Cranbrook Natatorium in Michigan, Quiet Light, Long Island Residence, the American Folk Art Museum in New York City, and the Neurosciences Institute in La Jolla, California.

Writer Deborah Eisenberg was born in Winnetka, Illinois, in 1945 and educated at the New School. She is a professor of creative writing at the University of Virginia. Ms. Eisenberg is the author of five collections of short stories: Transactions in a Foreign Currency, Under the 82nd Airborne, The Stories (So Far) of Deborah Eisenberg, All Around Atlantis, and Twilight of the Superheroes.

Writer Mary Gordon was born in Far Rockaway, New York, in 1949. She was educated at Barnard College and Syracuse University. Ms. Gordon is the McIntosh Professor of English at Barnard College. Her works include The Shadow Man, Spending: A Utopian Divertimento, Seeing Through Places: Reflections of Geography and Identity, Joan of Arc, and Pearl.

Writer Allan Gurganus was born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, in 1947 and studied writing at Sarah Lawrence College and the Iowa Writers' Workshop. His works include Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All, White People, The Practical Heart, and Plays Well With Others. Mr. Gurganus is currently working on The Erotic History of a Southern Baptist Church, the second part of a trilogy that commenced with Widow.

Writer Jim Harrison, born in Grayling, Michigan, in 1937, was educated at Michigan State University. A writer of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, his recent works include The Road Home, The Beast God Forgot to Invent: Novellas, The Raw and the Cooked: Adventures of a Roving Gourmand, Off to the Side: A Memoir, The Summer He Didn't Die, and Saving Daylight.

Writer Harper Lee was born in 1926 in Monroeville, Alabama. She studied at Huntingdon College, University of Alabama, and Oxford University. Ms. Lee was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 for her book, To Kill a Mockingbird.

Writer Annie Proulx was born in Norwich, Connecticut, in 1935, and educated at Colby College, University of Vermont, and Sir George Williams University. Her works include Postcards, The Shipping News, Accordian Crimes, Close Range: Wyoming Stories, That Old Ace in the Hole, and Wyoming Stories 2.

Composer Steven Stucky was born in 1949 in Hutchinson, Kansas. He studied at Baylor University and Cornell University. Mr. Stucky serves as the Given Foundation Professor of Composition at Cornell University and has been associated with the Los Angeles Philharmonic for more than fifteen years where he is the Consulting Composer for New Music. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2005 for his Second Concerto for Orchestra.