Bruce Holsinger is an award-winning novelist and literary scholar. His debut novel, A BURNABLE BOOK, won the John Hurt Fisher Prize and was shortlisted by the American Library Association for Best Crime Novel of 2014. The novel was reviewed in The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, The Sunday Times (London), National Public Radio, and many other venues. His new novel, THE INVENTION OF FIRE, received starred reviews in Publisher’s Weekly and Library Journal and has been named an Amazon Book of the Month for April 2015.
As Professor of English at the University of Virginia, Bruce teaches courses on medieval and modern literature, from BEOWULF to contemporary fiction. He has taught historical fiction to students from around the world in a massive open online course (or MOOC) called “Plagues, Witches, and War: The Worlds of Historical Fiction,” which in fall 2013 brought together prominent authors, scholars, and over 20,000 students to consider the genre and craft of the historical novel from the eighteenth century to the present.
Aside from his fiction writing, Bruce is also the author or editor of six nonfiction books, which have garnered major awards from the Modern Language Association, the American Musicological Society, and the Medieval Academy of America. His scholarly work has been recognized with a Guggenheim Fellowship, and he is the recipient of research fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the American Council of Learned Societies.
A native of Leesburg, Virginia, Bruce spent much of his early life training as a classical clarinetist. As an undergraduate he attended the University of Michigan School of Music, where he was a winner of the concerto competition and performed Carl Nielsen’s Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra (Op. 57) with the University Symphony Orchestra --- only to flame out spectacularly after a botched appearance on bass clarinet in Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 in D. He went on to pursue graduate work in medieval literature and culture, earning his Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University in New York. He spent the first nine years of his teaching career at the University of Colorado in Boulder, though never learned to ski. A rabid soccer dad, Bruce lives in Charlottesville, Virginia with his wife and two sons.