|Born||October 28, 1954 (age 66)|
Merion, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Notable works||Degas in New Orleans: Encounters in the Creole World of Kate Chopin and George Washington|
Benfey was born in Merion, Pennsylvania, but spent most of his childhood in Richmond, Indiana. and attended The Putney School. His father was a German immigrant and his mother was from North Carolina. He began his undergraduate studies at Earlham College, where his father, Otto Theodor Benfey, was a professor in the Chemistry department, and completed his B.A. at Guilford College. Benfey holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Harvard University.
Benfey is a specialist in 19th and 20th century American literature. He is also an established essayist and critic who has been published in The Atlantic, The New York Times Sunday Book Review, The New Republic, The New York Review of Books, and The Times Literary Supplement. He was an art critic for Slate.