Michael Dorris

American fiction writer, essayist, memoirist

1945   -   1997

country of citizenship: United States of America
language of expression: American English
educated at: Georgetown University
occupation: anthropologist, writer, novelist, children's writer
award received: John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, Heartland Prize

Michael Anthony Dorris (January 30, 1945 – April 10, 1997) was an American novelist and scholar who was the first Chair of the Native American Studies program at Dartmouth College. His works include the novel A Yellow Raft in Blue Water (1987) and the memoir The Broken Cord (1989). He married author Louise Erdrich, and the two had a family of six children. They frequently collaborated in some of their writing. They separated in 1995. He died by suicide in 1997 while police were investigating allegations that he had abused his daughters. The Broken Cord, which won the 1989 National Book Critics Circle Award for General Nonfiction, was about dealing with his adopted son, who had fetal alcohol syndrome, and the widespread damage among children born with this problem. The work helped provoke Congress to approve legislation to warn of the dangers of drinking alcohol during pregnancy.
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