Brian Hall has lived in Ithaca since 1988. He was born and raised in Lexington, Massachusetts and graduated from Harvard College in 1981. Not knowing what else to do, he spent two years bicycling in Western and Eastern Europe, living mostly in a tent. When he returned to the U.S. in 1984, still not knowing what else to do, he became a writer. His account of his experiences while traveling and living in Eastern Europe was published, after many rejections, and the loss of hope, by Hill and Wang in 1988. Four books have since followed: two novels, an account of his travels in Yugoslavia during the break-up, and a biography of his daughter from birth to age three. These books have been issued by various publishers, as Hall's editors have shown a tendency either to move to other houses immediately after buying his books, or to get fired.
Hall's move to Ithaca was occasioned by his wife, who was offered a graduate fellowship at Cornell University. The two of them decided within six months that Ithaca was the home they had been looking for, and unlike Odysseus (who ultimately proved to be incorrigibly peripatetic as an editor), they have no intention of going anywhere else. They have two children.
Hall is working on a new novel which will surely bring comfort to his friends and silence his critics.
Harvard College, A.B. in English and American Literature and Language,
summa cum laude, 1981.