West News Wire: The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing,” a bestseller by Melissa Bank, was published in 1999 “was a collection of interconnected tales whose humor and precise language won it widespread praise and were loved by young readers. She passed away at age 61.

The passing of Bank on Tuesday in East Hampton, New York, was reported by Viking Books. Lung cancer affected her.

Bank, a native of Philadelphia with a master’s degree from Cornell University, was influenced by writers such as Grace Paley and Vladimir Nabokov. It took her 12 years to complete “The Girls’ Guide, “partly due to a bicycle accident that affected her short-term memory and verbalization skills. However, her novel, which chronicles the life of a young lady from childhood to adulthood, was a critical and financial success.

“Bank draws exquisite portraits of loneliness, and can do it in a sentence,” Newsweek’s Yahlin Chang wrote.

Two stories from “The Girls’ Guide” were adapted into the 2007 romantic comedy “Suburban Girl,” starring Alec Baldwin and Sarah Michelle Gellar.

Bank also wrote the comic story collection “The Wonder Spot,” in which she traced a woman’s efforts to find her place in the world, and her writings appeared in Ploughshares and Zoetrope among other publications. She also taught in the MFA program at Stony Brook Southampton.


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