Sharon Dilworth-Department of English - Carnegie Mellon University

Sharon Dilworth

Associate Professor of English

Department of English
Carnegie Mellon University
Baker Hall 259
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
Office: Baker Hall 260 F
Phone: (412) 268-6446
Fax: (412) 268-7989


As an artist in mid-career my creative work in fiction explores the tragedies and resonances of middle age. In each of my three latest novels I have attempted to discern the timbre and qualities that have emerged in my own adult life by creating characters whose desires are circumscribed by the landscapes and pasts they can no longer escape. I think my latest writing is more resonant emotionally than my earlier work. It deals more with ambiguity and paradox and attempts to capture the sadness and grace notes of everyday life. The three novels I've written in the past five years explore new emotional complexities from different vantage points. In My Riviera a young woman confronts the challenges of adult relationships while her family is in self-imposed exile in the south of France. In The Cousin in the Backyard , the protagonist is forced to analyze her upbringing and the untidy debris behind middle-class appearances. Finally The Man on the Street examines the adulterous fantasies of an unhappy woman who sees few options for her future. I have been writing or thinking of things to write ever since my 9th birthday when I bought a red journal with its own lock and key. I assumed I would record the wildly exciting moments of my life. My interest in journal writing never developed. Instead I filled the blank pages with my imagination. I have been making up stories about people who don't exist for almost forty years. In the context of developing interdisciplinary links across campus as well as giving students the opportunity to acquire valuable hands-on experience I have helped developed a new course on campus with the College of Fine Arts' School of Drama, the Tepper School of Business and the Entertainment Technology Center "So You Want to Make A Movie." In a year-long course, students, working in production teams will write, shoot, direct, edit, and market their own feature-length film.