Angela Flournoy: Biography

Angela Flournoy

Angela Flournoy is a writer of fiction and author of The Turner House (2015). This, her debut novel, received a nomination for the National Book Award for Fiction, and a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work. It was also a New York Times notable book of the year, a finalist for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, and nominated for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction. Flournoy is a National Book Foundation ‘5 under 35’ Honoree for 2015. Her work has been featured in The Paris Review, The New York Times, The New Republic, and The Los Angeles Times.

Flournoy grew up in southern California. Her mother is from Los Angeles and her father is from Detroit. She went to college at the University of Southern California, and also graduated from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she received a Dean’s Fellowship.

The Turner House is a novel about the life of a large, working class family who lives in a small, haunted house in East Detroit. It is set in 2008, but moves back and forth in time over a fifty year period, exploring the changes over time and why they have happened. Being unfamiliar with both the city of Detroit (although she had visited it) and with African American folklore concerning ghosts, Flournoy devoted much research into investigating both. She discovered Zora Neale Hurston in the process, and found her work to be encouraging and inspiring.

Flournoy once worked for the Washington, D.C. public library. She has also been a literature instructor at the University of Iowa and at Trinity Washington University.