In 2011, Bruce Duffy’s third novel, Disaster Was My God—based on the turbulent life of French poet-prodigy Arthur Rimbaud—was published in both the U.S. and the UK. The New Yorker said, “Marvelous. . . . Very moving. . . ..” The Boston Globe said, “A fiery mosaic of brilliantly conceived and written pieces. . . . Duffy’s writing becomes addictive.”
In 2010, Duffy’s 1987 first novel The World As I Found It was reprinted as a New York Review of Books Classic. Duffy is one of two living authors on a list that includes Henry James, Edith Wharton, and Norman Mailer.
A former Guggenheim Fellow, he is the recipient of the 1988 Whiting Writer’s Award, a three-year Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Award, and a 1991 National Magazine Award nomination by Harper’s for his essay “Feeling Something.”
As a journalist, Duffy has written for Harper’s, Life, The New York Times Book Review and Magazine, Discovery, The Village Voice, GQ and The Daily Beast, covering everything from third-world war zones, to hoboes, to the Hubble Space Telescope.
For example, in 1997 in the pages of LIFE magazine—set in Pakistan and Taliban Afghanistan, four years before 9/11—Duffy was one of the very few Americans to experience, firsthand, the rage of global terrorism. In “Looking for Stinger,” he and world-renowned National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry tried to buy a shoulder-fired Stinger missile (capable of shooting down military jets and Presidential helicopters) on the arms black market.
Bruce Duffy is now at work on another novel, A Towering Brilliance, on the birth of the Atomic bomb.