Lang

Neil Gordon

  • May 2017

    With great sadness, we share the news that Neil Gordon, professor of writing in the Literary Studies department and former dean of Eugene Lang College, passed away. Neil was a valued member of the faculty, a highly regarded writer and novelist, and a teacher and mentor to many students, faculty, and staff. 

    Neil received his BA from the University of Michigan and a master's from the University of Paris. After graduating from Yale with a PhD in French Literature, he worked for many years at the New York Review of Books and was the founding literary editor of the Boston Review before returning to academics to teach at Eugene Lang College. After serving as dean at Lang, Neil spent three years in Paris as dean, vice president, and professor of comparative literature at the American University of Paris. 

    Although he wrote a great deal of literary criticism and numerous reviews, Neil considered himself primarily a historical and political novelist. He published four novels: one about the history of the Holocaust and the state of Israel (Sacrifice of Isaac); the second about  Israel, the United States, and the arms trade (The Gun Runner's Daughter); the third about the radical Left in the United States during the war in Vietnam (The Company You Keep); and the fourth the story of the American Left from the Spanish Civil War to Occupy Wall Street (You're a Big Girl Now). The third was filmed in 2012 by Robert Redford under the same name. Neil's awards and honors include a New York Times 2004 Notable Book of the Year and a 2007 National Endowment for the Arts grant to the Boston Review in support of his article series Imagining the Enemy.  

    Like his writing, Neil's courses examined the representation of lived political and historical experience, focusing on what he described as "the intersection between individuals and the political history that surrounds them." 

    The Lang community sends its deepest condolences to his friends, his family, and all who knew and treasured him. 

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