John Michael Cummings

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Writer

John Michael Cummings (born 1963) is an American novelist and short story writer, and the author of the novels The Night I Freed John Brown and Don't Forget Me, Bro.

Biography

Cummings was born and raised in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, where much of his fiction is set. After graduating from Jefferson High School in 1981, he briefly attended Shepherd College. He then worked in a series of odd jobs before a friend convinced him to return to college.[1] He graduated from George Mason University in 1989 with a BA in studio art. After publishing short stories in American literary magazines and beginning a novel set in Harper's Ferry, he moved to New York City where he worked at a literary agency and as a copyeditor for a publishing company. Following the publication of his debut novel, The Night I Freed John Brown, Cummings studied creative writing at the University of Central Florida, graduating with an MFA in 2012.[2][3]

Writing

His young adult debut novel, The Night I Freed John Brown was published in 2008. In Cummings’ novel, a late twentieth century local family has to deal with Harpers Ferry tourists, who visit the area because of its connection with the abolitionist John Brown. The harsh father, with his intolerant, throwback attitudes, is set up as the anti-John Brown. The Night I Freed John Brown was included in USA Today's 2009 list of newly released titles connected to Black History Month.[4][5]

Ugly To Start With, published in 2011, is a collection of thirteen short stories set in and around Harpers Ferry. The stories were all previously published in various journals.[6][3]

Cummings’s first adult novel, Don't Forget Me, Bro was published in 2015. Set in Appalachia, the novel revolves around a family whose oldest son, a schizophrenic, dies at 45. The story is based upon the experiences of John Michael Cummings' real life family and the death of his brother.[7][8]

Bibliography

Novels and short story collections

Novellas

  • The House My Father.
  • Chimney Rock.

Short stories

References

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