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Ariel was named a "Best Book for Young Adults 2006" by the American Library Association
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"Ariel" from

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"The Turquoise Ring"

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The Turquoise Ring

A New York native who grew up in New York and Virginia, Grace Tiffany is a Renaissance scholar who also writes historical fiction. Her newest book, Paint, tells the story of Shakespeare’s Dark Lady. It’s a "poignant, hilarious tale of murder, blackmail, and makeup," according to National Book Award finalist Bonnie Jo Campbell.

Tiffany’s first novel, My Father Had a Daughter (Berkley, 2003), is a funny, lyrical story about Shakespeare’s youngest daughter, Judith, the Shakespeare family’s odd duck, an “unforgettable” heroine, according to New York Times bestselling author Sharon Kay Penman. My Father Had a Daughter made the 2003 Booksense 76 best book list compiled by American independent bookstores. Tiffany’s second novel, Will (Berkley, 2004), is, like her first a rich amalgamation of fiction and fact. Will presents an inside account of Shakespeare’s theatrical rivalries and successes in London and his domestic struggles with his wife, Anne Hathaway. In Will, writes India Edghill, author of Queenmaker, “Tiffany’s elegant prose brings Shakespeare’s London to vibrant life, and etches a vivid portrait of a man whose public success was fueled by private tragedy.” Tiffany’s third novel, The Turquoise Ring, retells the story of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice from the perspectives of five of that play’s women. The book has been translated into three languages. Joel Gross, author of The Books of Rachel, calls The Turquoise Ring "A passionate and evocative take on one facet of the Shylock story and an accurate rendering of a history that still lives within us today," and Columbia University’s James Shapiro (author of Shakespeare and the Jews) named The Turquoise Ring one of the six best all-time adaptations of a Shakespeare play. Tiffany has also written a short novel for young adults, entitled Ariel, which was listed as a 2006 Best Book by the American Library Association and was named a Sakura Medal book in Japan. In 2013 Tiffany’s work of creative nonfiction, Luck, was named a semifinalist in the Faulkner-Wisdom creative writing competition of New Orleans.

Please visit Grace Tiffany's blog for updated information on recent and forthcoming books.

Tiffany’s scholarly works include the critically acclaimed Erotic Beasts and Social Monsters: Shakespeare, Jonson, and Comic Androgyny (Univ. of Delaware Press, 1995), a comparison of androgynous characters in the comedies of Shakespeare and his greatest rival, the playwright Ben Jonson. She is also the editor of Reformations: Religion, Rulership, and the Sixteenth-Century English Stage (Medieval Institute Publications, 1998). She spent three years as an editor for the international quarterly Comparative Drama, is now a contributing editor to the international publication The Shakespeare Newsletter, and has published numerous articles on Shakespeare in journals such as Shakespeare Studies and Renaissance Quarterly. As a scholar, she has been described by Ron Rosenbaum of The New York Observer as a “witty” writer who “gently deflat[es] the pretensions of the jargonistas”–that is, of academics who use rhetoric instead of common sense to explain Shakespeare’s plays.

Grace Tiffany has been a professor of Shakespeare at Western Michigan University since 1995, and has spoken as an invited lecturer at a number of colleges and universities, including Wheaton College in Chicago and the University of Salamanca in Spain. Before moving to Michigan she taught for five years at the University of New Orleans and for one year at Fordham University in New York City. She holds a Ph.D. in English from Notre Dame. She and her family live in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

In both her fiction and her scholarly work, Tiffany celebrates Shakespeare, embracing the themes of gender confusion, spiritual growth through roleplay, tragic choices, redemption, and ultimate forgiveness that are central to his work. In imagining the lives of the playwright and his family, as well as the expanded lives of his characters, she explores what Shakespeare has said to us, but does so in a contemporary idiom–inferior, she admits, to Shakespeare’s poetry, but fun to read anyway.

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"My Father Had a Daughter"

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My Father Had a Daughter

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For more information on Grace Tiffany's work please contact Grace through her blog