Jane Delury’s fiction has appeared in Narrative, The Southern Review, Prairie Schooner, The Yale Review and Glimmer Train. She has received a PEN/O. Henry Prize, the F. Scott Fitzgerald Story Award, a VCCA fellowship and grants from the Maryland State Arts Council. Her novel, “The Balcony,” is forthcoming in March 2018.
She earned a Master of Arts in Literary Studies from the University of Grenoble, France, and a Master of Arts in Fiction from the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars. She is an associate professor of creative writing and English at the University of Baltimore, where she chairs the School of Communications Design.
Author Website: http://www.janedelury.com/
"Jane Delury arrives on the scene of her debut with a sensibility fully formed and a breathtaking array of writerly gifts at her command." -- Jennifer Egan
A century-spanning portrait of the inhabitants of a French village, revealing the deception, despair, love, and longing beneath the calm surface of ordinary lives.
What if our homes could tell the stories of others who lived there before us? Set in a small village near Paris, The Balcony follows the inhabitants of a single estate-including a manor and a servants' cottage-over the course of several generations, from the Belle Époque to the present day, introducing us to a fascinating cast of characters. A young American au pair develops a crush on her brilliant employer. An ex-courtesan shocks the servants, a Jewish couple in hiding from the Gestapo attract the curiosity of the neighbors, and a housewife begins an affair while renovating her downstairs. Rich and poor, young and old, powerful and persecuted, all of these people are seeking something: meaning, love, a new beginning, or merely survival.
Throughout, cross-generational connections and troubled legacies haunt the same spaces, so that the rose garden, the forest pond, and the balcony off the manor's third floor bedroom become silent witnesses to a century of human drama.
In her debut, Jane Delury writes with masterful economy and profound wisdom about growing up, growing old, marriage, infidelity, motherhood - in other words, about life - weaving a gorgeous tapestry of relationships, life-altering choices, and fleeting moments across the frame of the twentieth century. A sumptuous narrative of place that burrows deep into individual lives to reveal hidden regrets, resentments, and desires, The Balcony is brimming with compassion, natural beauty, and unmistakable humanity.